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South Carolina sends Florida to fifth straight defeat
South Carolina’s A.J. Turner gained 136 yards on 22 carries as the Gamecocks rushed for a season-high 220 yards in a 28-20 victory, handing Florida its fifth straight loss Saturday in Columbia, S.C.
South Carolina (7-3, 5-3 SEC) also got two rushing scores each from running back Mon Denson and quarterback Jake Bentley. Denson rushed 13 times for 61 yards for the Gamecocks, who have won four of their last five games.
Bentley completed 19 of 29 passes for 249 yards, but he allowed Florida (3-6, 3-5) to remain in the game by throwing three interceptions without a touchdown.
Florida is 0-2 under interim head coach Randy Shannon, who took over after Jim McElwain was fired. The Gators are guaranteed of having a losing SEC record for just the third time since 1992.
Florida played without about 25 percent of its scholarship players because of injuries or suspensions.
The Gators cut South Carolina’s lead to 28-20 with 3:43 remaining on a 1-yard run by Mark Thompson. The score came a play after a 63-yard pass from backup quarterback Feleipe Franks to Moral Stephens.
Franks, who completed 10 of 25 passes for 174 yards, replaced starter Malik Zaire, who left in the second quarter with a leg injury.
Franks had one last chance to tie the game, but South Carolina’s Jamyest Williams intercepted a tipped pass at the Florida 48-yard line with 1:06 left.
First-quarter touchdown runs by Bentley of 4 yards and Denson of 24 yards set the tone as the Gamecocks took a 14-0 lead.
Denson rushed for another touchdown, capping a 75-yard drive, with 3:40 left in the first half to give South Carolina a 21-6 lead.
Bentley increased the lead to 28-13 with a 7-yard score with 2:08 left in the third quarter.
Florida, playing against former coach Will Muschamp, rushed for only 78 yards on 22 carries.