(22) South Carolina 36

(7-3, 5-3 SEC)

(24) Florida 14

(6-4, 4-4 SEC)

Coverage: ESPN

7:15 PM ET, November 13, 2010

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL

1 2 3 4 T
#22SC 9 6 7 1436
#24FLA 7 0 0 714

Top Performers

Passing: S. Garcia (SC) - 156 YDS

Rushing: M. Lattimore (SC) - 40 CAR, 212 YDS, 3 TD

Receiving: C. Rainey (FLA) - 4 REC, 32 YDS, 1 TD

Steve Spurrier, South Carolina shut down Florida to clinch SEC East

Associated Press

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Steve Spurrier's huge victory at his ol' stomping grounds is taking him to another place he used to visit all the time -- Atlanta.

After years of being the top Gator, the head ball coach led South Carolina (No. 23 BCS, No. 22 AP) to its first division crown in the stadium he nicknamed The Swamp.

Marcus Lattimore ran 40 times for a career-high 212 yards and three touchdowns, Stephen Garcia played turnover-free and the Gamecocks upset Florida (No. 22 BCS, No. 24 AP) 36-14 Saturday night to clinch the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division.

"We'll celebrate a little more than they do," Spurrier said, referring to Florida winning the East three of the previous four years.

The Gamecocks won for the second time in 19 tries against Florida, snapped an 0-for-12 streak in Gainesville and earned a spot in the league title game for the first time since joining the SEC in 1992. South Carolina (7-3, 5-3 SEC) will play second-ranked Auburn on Dec. 4, with the winner advancing to the Bowl Championship Series.

"Sometimes the Gamecocks get out alive," Spurrier said, taking a mild shot at The Swamp's motto "Where only Gators get out alive."

The Gators (6-4, 4-4) lost to a division opponent for the first time in 17 games, dropped their third consecutive home game and proved they didn't deserve to play for a championship. It's the program's first three-game losing streak at home since 1989.

South Carolina started celebrating after Garcia's 8-yard TD run early in the fourth that put the Gamecocks ahead 29-7. Players and fans got even more raucous after Lattimore's 11-yard scoring run with 2:43 remaining.

Spurrier acknowledged that he orchestrated part of the celebration in the closing seconds. He whispered in an assistant's ear, then removed his headset and electronic equipment.

The assistant talked to players, who then doused Spurrier with -- what else? -- Gatorade. Several others carried Spurrier toward midfield after the clock hit zero.

"We haven't had many championships," Spurrier said. "We had to coach them up a little bit. But we never talked about it until the game was over."

Spurrier's Florida teams went 63-5 in Gainesville. He had plenty of important wins along the way -- Kentucky in 1991, Florida State in 1991 and 1995, South Carolina in 2000 -- but only that one against the Wildcats clinched a title.

When asked where this one stacked up, Spurrier said, "It's my latest."

It certainly stands out.

It's one Florida won't forget, either.

Andre Debose returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown, but it was one of the few highlights the Gators could muster in a game that will go down as one of the worst in school history -- even more painful than anything in the Ron Zook era.

"Disappointing," center Mike Pouncey said. "They outplayed us. They out-schemed us. It's just disappointing. We wanted that win bad. Can't look back now."

Spurrier may have even been embarrassed for his alma mater, the school he developed into a college football powerhouse during his 12 seasons as coach.

The first quarter was all anyone needed to watch to see how the game would unfold: The Gators ran 18 plays for 51 yards, failed to convert a third down, punted five times and had five penalties.

The Gamecocks had to settle for three field goals from Spencer Lanning, who hit from 49, 47 and 41 yards. He also banged an extra point off the left upright following Lattimore's 7-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

There was little else South Carolina did wrong.

Garcia had his first turnover-free game since late September. He completed 15 of 22 passes for 156 yards. He added 28 yards on the ground.

"It's hard to put into words how the team is feeling," Garcia said. "It hasn't really sunk in yet. It took four years, but we're finally here."

Lattimore, the league's second-leading rushing behind Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, demoralized Florida with every carry. He ran 21 times for 83 yards in the first half, then added a backbreaking, 21-yard TD run to cap South Carolina's opening drive of the second half.

He showed no problems with a bruised knee sustained in last week's loss to Arkansas. Spurrier even asked Lattimore during the week if he could carry the ball 35 or 40 times.

"I knew he was serious," Lattimore said. "When he says something, he means it."

Alshon Jeffery, the SEC's leading receiver, came up with several key third-down receptions among his six catches for 53 yards.

South Carolina finished with 395 yards, 169 more than Florida.

The Gators were downright pathetic all night. Meyer called for a "blue out," asking fans to wear head-to-toe blue to match the team's all-blue uniforms. But after Debose's crowd-pleasing kickoff return, the rest of the night was more of a "boo out."

It looked nothing like the Gators who beat Georgia and Vanderbilt the last two weeks. Florida's three-headed quarterback system -- the one nicknamed "Threebow" because it took three guys to do everything Tim Tebow did so well the last three years -- was mostly ineffective.

John Brantley took most of the snaps and completed 16 of 31 passes for 130 yards, with an interception. Trey Burton and Jordan Reed played sparingly. Reed threw a 26-yard TD pass to Chris Rainey late, but was stopped short on a fourth-down run near midfield earlier.

Maybe the most telling play came on the first drive of the second half for Florida. Brantley, who has clearly been a misfit in the spread option, had a pass tipped at the line of scrimmage. The ball sailed backward and toward Brantley. Instead of batting it to the ground, Brantley caught it for a 10-yard loss.

"We just didn't execute," Meyer said. "We're just not very good."


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs2411
Total Yards395226
3rd Down Conversions8-162-14
4th Down Conversions0-02-5

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders

Hammond Jr.33712.3017

Scoring Summary

TD14:46Andre Debose 99 Yd Kickoff Return (Chas Henry Kick) 07
FG09:40Spencer Lanning 49 Yd 37
TD02:36Marcus Lattimore 7 Yd Run (Pat Failed) 97
FG04:37Spencer Lanning 47 Yd 127
FG00:00Spencer Lanning 41 Yd 157
TD10:05Marcus Lattimore 21 Yd Run (Spencer Lanning Kick) 227
TD13:35Stephen Garcia 8 Yd Run (Spencer Lanning Kick) 297
TD07:12Chris Rainey 26 Yd Pass From Jordan Reed (Chas Henry Kick) 2914
TD02:43Marcus Lattimore 11 Yd Run (Spencer Lanning Kick) 3614

Research Notes

Marcus Lattimore: 9th 200-yd rushing game in South Carolina history; 1st since 2000 and 1st in SEC play

Steve Spurrier is going to his eighth SEC title game, but his first with South Carolina.

Auburn and South Carolina met earlier this season with South Carolina leading 20-7 in the 1st half and 27-21 entering the 4th quarter before Auburn rallied for two 4th quarter scores to win 35-27. Auburn has won 5 straight in the series and lead the series 7-1-1.
Should South Carolina hold on to win, they would win the SEC East for the 1st time and play for the SEC title. In the previous 18 years of the SEC title game, the East has been represented by Florida (10), Tennessee (5) and Georgia (3). 5 of the 6 schools out west have played for the SEC title with Ole Miss never having gone. Teams to never play for SEC title (since 1992) East - Vanderbilt, Kentucky West - Ole Miss
Andre Dubose (FLA): 2nd career kickoff return for TD (other vs LSU)

ESPN Stats & Information