Top 25: No. 3 Florida 44, No. 9 South Carolina 11
Gainesville, Fla. • Jeff Driskel threw four touchdown passes three of them after turnovers and No. 3 Florida matched its win total from last season with a 44-11 drubbing of ninth-ranked South Carolina on Saturday.
The Gators avenged consecutive losses to the Gamecocks, including one two years ago that ended with Steve Spurrier and his players celebrating a division title in The Swamp.
Florida's latest whatever-it-takes win kept coach Will Muschamp's team undefeated and put it on the cusp of the Southeasten Conference's Eastern Division title. The Gators (7-0, 6-0 SEC) can clinch a spot in the SEC championship game by beating No. 13 Georgia in nearby Jacksonville next week.
Florida won this one with turnovers, stellar defense and more halftime adjustments the kind of successful tweaks that are making Muschamp and his staff seem like the right fit in Gainesville.
The Gators finished 7-6 last season, barely avoiding the program's first losing season since 1979. The struggles had outsiders questioning whether Muschamp could get them back to national prominence.
He's got them there now even if it hasn't always been pretty.
Florida managed just 29 yards and two first downs in the first half against South Carolina (6-2, 4-2). But the Gators led 21-6 thanks to three turnovers.
Loucheiz Purifoy knocked the ball out of Connor Shaw's hands on the first play. Lerentee McCray recovered to give Florida the ball at the 2-yard line. Driskel hooked up with Jordan Reed on third down to give the Gators a lead they never would relinquish.
It also was a sign of things to come for the Gamecocks, who had trouble holding onto the ball all afternoon.