South Carolina’s maligned defense and special teams showed up in The Swamp, and they saved Steve Spurrier from the worst conference record of his 25-year college coaching career.
The Gamecocks improved 5-5 overall and finished 3-5 in the SEC when Dylan Thompson scored on a 4-yard keeper on the second possession of overtime to give South Carolina a 23-20 win over Florida.
Florida was poised to put the game away on two occasions in the fourth quarter but Brison Williams blocked a 32-yard field goal attempt by Frankie Velez with 3:31 left in the game and Carlton Heard blocked a punt with 39 seconds left to set up the game-tying 34-yard touchdown drive by the Gamecocks.
South Carolina knotted the score at 17-17 when Mike Davis recovered his own fumble in the end zone for a touchdown with 12 seconds remaining in the game.
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Florida took the ball on the first possession of overtime and took a 20-17 lead on a 35-yard field goal by Austin Hardin.
South Carolina jumped out to a 10-0 lead after gaining 151 yards and scoring twice on its first two drives of the game. Brandon Wilds gave the Gamecocks a 7-0 lead with a 20-yard run that capped an eight-play, 85-yard drive with 12:00 left in the first quarter. After the South Carolina defense forced a three-and-out on Florida’s first possession, the Gamecocks drove 66 yards and got a 31-yard field goal from Elliott Fry to take a 10-0 lead.
However, the offense bogged down from there, and Florida rallied with 17 unanswered points. The Gamecocks got on the board with a 34-yard field goal by Frankie Velez with 6:37 left in the second quarter and then tied the game on an 11-yard pass from Treon Harris to Demarcus Robinson with 24 seconds left in the half.Florida took the lead on a 1-yard run by Matt Jones with 1:56 left in the third quarter.