Upon further video review, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said he could "sort of understand" what quarterback Stephen Garcia saw in the Florida secondary on the fourth-quarter interception that halted a Gamecocks' drive and essentially snuffed out their upset hopes.
Immediately after Florida's 24-14 win, Spurrier expressed frustration that Garcia threw a backside slant to Moe Brown rather than stick with primary receiver Jason Barnes, who was running a slant on the right side of the field.
Brown was not expecting the ball, which zipped past him, caromed off the helmet of Florida cornerback Markihe Anderson and into the arms of defensive end Justin Trattou, who returned it 53 yards to the USC 26.
Four plays later, Tim Tebow put the Gators up by 10 with a 1-yard touchdown run.
Garcia said he looked Brown's way because the Gators had "inside leverage" on Barnes, which Spurrier said Sunday appeared to be the case.
"Actually the guy covering Moe Brown was a little bit on his outside shoulder. And the guy covering Jason was a little bit on his inside," Spurrier said. "So he chose to go over there, and I think the ball sort of snuck up on Moe somehow or another. ... Just an unfortunate thing. Hopefully, we can learn from it to execute that play a little better."
Brown did not get a hand on the ball, which he said he did not see until the last second.
"He should have known every time you go out, you're a potential candidate," Spurrier said. "That one generally goes to the other side, and we talked about the other side (during the timeout) between the third and fourth quarter. For some reason, he just wasn't expecting it, I don't think."
Ball plays. After saying last week he likely would take over as the principal offensive play-caller, Spurrier downplayed the change Sunday when asked about his role. Spurrier, whose son Steve Spurrier Jr. has called most of the plays since last season, appeared to be more involved with the offense against the Gators.
"I've been calling plays. It wasn't anything hugely different than what we've been doing. I wish I'd let someone else call 'em, how's that?" said Spurrier, laughing. "It wasn't much different than what I've been doing really all year."
The Gamecocks have not scored more than 16 points since beating Kentucky 28-26 on Oct. 10, and rank 102nd among 120 teams nationally in scoring offense with 20.6 points a game.
Where's Gurley? Fans have been clamoring to see rangy receivers Alshon Jeffery and Tori Gurley on the field at the same time. But Gurley saw little action against the Gators, regardless of the personnel groupings.
Gurley, who lost his starting spot to Jeffery around midseason, finished without a catch for the second time this year.
"We probably should have gotten Tori out there a little bit more. Alshon got tired there a little bit in the second half," Spurrier said. "It's hard to play everybody."
Turnover drought. USC's defense has not come up with a turnover in four games since getting four at Alabama. The Gamecocks' five interceptions are the fewest in the SEC, and their 13 takeaways are next to last in the conference ahead of Georgia (8).
"We're just not creating fumbles or picking off anything. Other teams are still running and throwing. Maybe they're just taking real good care of it," Spurrier said. "Just hasn't happened. I don't have the answer."
Extra points. USC will practice Tuesday through Thursday this week before taking the weekend off. ... Walk-on long snapper Matt Grooms, the 26-year-old who served with the Marines in Kuwait during the Iraq War, received his first playing time when he saw action on the Gamecocks' extra-point team.