Steve Spurrier had the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Top Five and steaming toward a BCS bowl two weeks ago. Two losses later and this South Carolina team can forget about the BCS.
This Carolina team was embarrassed by the Florida Gators in Gainesville. The Gamecocks handed Florida a host of opportunities, leading to 21 points on only 29 yards in the first half of the game for the home team.
It was a game that had two quarterbacks attempt comebacks for South Carolina with both looking terrible against the Florida defense. Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson finished a combined 17-of-40 for 155 yards and one interception.
An injured Marcus Lattimore was held to three carries for only 13 yards on the day. He also caught two passes for nine yards. It was an ineffective showing for the star running back.
South Carolina was only three of 14 on third-down conversions, and the Gamecocks only mustered 36 total rushing yards.
The Gamecocks were without a weapon on offense. They looked very imbalanced against the Gators, and were unable to find consistency in the passing and rushing attack. Steve Spurrier led a team into Gainesville that looked ill-prepared and unequipped to earn a win.
South Carolina now sits at 6-2 with a very winnable schedule left ahead. This should be a 10-2 football team when the season concludes. South Carolina simply can’t find the big-game wins consistently, despite always finding the road to big records at year's end.
Beating Georgia was the marquee victory that the Gamecocks were afforded for the season, no more are to come. At this point, the Georgia win doesn’t look to be as strong as was originally thought, driving down the strength of schedule and level of competition that the Gamecocks have faced.
The second-best team in the SEC will have a shot at the BCS at-large, but even with 10 wins this South Carolina team will not get the pass.
Florida absolutely hosed this Gamecocks team 44-11 at home, making Steve Spurrier’s squad look like a bottom-tier SEC program, not an aspiring championship squad.
What makes this game worse for South Carolina is there was only 374 total yards of offense in the game. Not 374 yards for just South Carolina, but combined between the two teams.
This was an offensive coordinator's nightmare. There has to be some credit given to the No. 2 Florida Gators program. The Gators are at the top for a reason now; destroying a Top 10 team will solidify the presence of a squad in the Top Five.
Even though this loss comes to the No. 2 team in the country for the Gamecocks, the fashion in which they lost is embarrassing. The Gamecocks defense did continue to look strong, holding the Gators to only 183 yards in the contest. South Carolina still can’t ride that one stat to a big-time bowl.
ESPN said it best through twitter:
Normally, they're Gamecocks. Today, South Carolina is #GatorBait.— ESPN (@espn) October 20, 2012
This was supposed to be the year for the Gamecocks, and it looked to be that way to start the year, but the winds changed a bit and this team now sits far away from the top after having two consecutive losses.
This Gamecocks squad will not be a conference contender after the loss, guaranteeing them at least a third-place selection in the bowl conversation at the end of the year.