Gamecocks chomp Gators, stay in SEC East title hunt

South Carolina did its part Saturday to stay alive in the SEC East, grinding out a 17-12 home victory over Florida.

The No. 15 Gamecocks (8-2, 6-2 SEC) wrapped up their SEC schedule by keeping the pressure on division-leader Georgia. The No. 20 Bulldogs, who led South Carolina by ½ game entering today, played Auburn later Saturday.

A Georgia loss to Auburn or next week against Kentucky would give the Gamecocks their second-consecutive East title and a berth in the SEC Championship Game Dec. 3.

South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw struggled through a subpar passing performance. But Shaw rushed for two second-quarter touchdowns, and his 46-yard pass to Ace Sanders set up Jay Wooten’s 28-yard field goal with 9:14 to play, giving the Gamecocks a 17-12 lead.

Florida (5-5, 3-5) pulled within 14-12 two minutes earlier on Jacoby Brissett’s 2-yard touchdown. The Gators went for two points to try to tie the score, but Brissett’s pass failed. The Gators dropped to 0-5 against ranked teams.

Florida had one last gasp from its 11 with 42 seconds left, and with no timeouts. The Gators made it to the South Carolina 42 with nine seconds remaining, but Florida quarterback John Brantley was sacked and the clock ran out.

The Gamecocks play host to The Citadel next Saturday, while Florida plays host to Furman.

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