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Florida vs. South Carolina score, takeaways: Defense wonky, but No. 15 Gators rebound from 17 down

Florida vs. South Carolina score, takeaways: Defense wonky, but No. 15 Gators rebound from 17 down

No. 15 Florida scored three touchdowns within the last 16 minutes of the sport to notch an enormous win over South Carolina on Saturday afternoon in Gainesville, Florida. Quarterback Feleipe Franks went 15-of-21 passing for 161 yards and one landing, but he earned loads of respect on the bottom the place he rushed for 36 yards and two touchdowns. This got here one week after Franks was benched within the loss to Missouri. Jordan Scarlett rushed for 159 yards on 18 carries, and Lamical Perine added 107 yards and two touchdowns to steer the Gators to a much-needed win.

Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley was 18-of-28 passing for 239 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in a shedding effort. That one interception got here on South Carolina’s last drive of the sport, which primarily put it on ice for Florida?

What had been the largest takeaways from Saturday in The Swamp? Let’s have a look

1. Franks wanted this: Let’s not begin making comparisons between Franks and former Gators nice Tim Tebow, but the redshirt sophomore did have some Tebow-esque moments en path to the win. He ran via a number of defenders to search out his option to the top zone and dove over the pile to notch the go-ahead rating with 4:09 left. “He does not must be an incredible runner, he simply must be robust,” coach Dan Mullen mentioned after the sport on the ESPN broadcast.

Franks wasn’t simply bodily although, he was mentally robust. He seemingly wouldn’t have began had Kyle Trask not suffered a season-ending foot damage in observe earlier within the week. After practically two years because the starter, Franks’s ineffectiveness had primarily price him his job and help from the followers had disappeared. It clearly bothered him. Franks gave the “shhh” signal to the group and flexed his muscle mass throughout celebrations on each of his landing runs, and he flexed on South Carolina within the course of.

Does this cement Franks as Florida’s starter shifting ahead subsequent season? Of course not. He wasn’t precisely a difference-maker via the air, which has been the first purpose his help has dwindled. But he has coronary heart, and Florida wanted coronary heart Saturday. 

2. There’s nonetheless a lot on the road: The top-10 rating and hopes for an SEC East title have long-since evaporated, but a New Year’s Six bowl remains to be within the grasp of the Gators. Whether followers suppose they deserve it or not, the CFP Selection Committee has a excessive opinion of Florida, and profitable out appears extra seemingly now since Idaho and Florida State are the one two groups left on the schedule. Getting into the highest 12 should not be too tough, which might seemingly safe a bid to one of many sport’s most outstanding bowl video games supplied there’s not mass chaos in convention championship video games.

For Mullen, that may be big in Year 1 — particularly contemplating the drama on and off the sphere for the reason that loss to Georgia. Isn’t that sufficient? It must be. Rebuilding efforts take time, even at Florida. It hasn’t been fairly, but it has been sufficient to provide Gators followers hope for the longer term.

3. There remains to be a problem for Florida, although: After the excitement from the comeback wears off, there is a main downside that Mullen wants to deal with — the protection. For the primary time since 1917, the Gators have given up 31 or extra factors in three straight video games. Yeah, you learn that proper. It’s additionally the primary time since 1999 that Florida has allowed its opponents to attain 30-plus in three consecutive video games.

In Saturday’s sport towards South Carolina, it gave up 6 yards per play to an average-at-best Gamecocks offense. In the primary half, Bentley was constantly hitting large open receivers downfield and over the center. The defensive struggles led to the Gamecocks changing 7-of-13 third down conversions, placing Florida able the place Franks and the operating backs needed to work a number of miracles to get out of The Swamp with the win.

On C.J. Henderson’s choose to save lots of the sport, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham backed off from a blitz — seemingly for the primary time ever. When breaking tendency shocks everyone within the constructing, that is a bug, not a characteristic. Grantham has to evolve, as a result of he is not getting the job accomplished.

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