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College Football Roundup: Gators thrash Gamecocks
No. 3 Florida lived up to its surprising BCS ranking by thrashing a South Carolina team that appeared to be a contender in the SEC.
The Gamecocks gave LSU almost all it could handle in Death Valley last week, and figured to follow up with a good showing in The Swamp.
Instead, Loucheiz Purifoy knocked the ball out of South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw’s hands on the first play, and Florida punched it in to start a 44-11 rout in Gainesville.
Jeff Driskel threw four touchdown passes _ three of them after turnovers _ and the Gators matched their win total from last season.
Florida avenged consecutive losses to the Gamecocks, including one a couple of years ago that ended with Steve Spurrier and his players celebrating a division title on the Gators’ home field.
Florida managed just 29 yards and two first downs in the first half against South Carolina (6-2, 4-2). But the Gators led 21-6 thanks to three turnovers and never looked back.
Florida’s latest whatever-it-takes win kept coach Will Muschamp’s team undefeated and put it on the cusp of the Southeastern Conference’s Eastern Division title. The Gators can clinch a spot in the SEC championship game by beating No. 13 Georgia next week.
The Gators finished 7-6 last season, barely avoiding the program’s first losing season since 1979. The struggles had outsiders questioning whether Muschamp could get them back to national prominence.
Florida’s record says he has, even if the stat sheet leaves doubts.
The Gamecocks actually outgained the Gators, 193-182, in a low-wattage affair everywhere but on the scoreboard. The Gators can use eye-popping result. Oregon is close behind the Gators in the BCS rankings and actually No. 2 in The Associated Press Top 25, which doesn’t count in the BCS, and in the coaches’ poll, which does.
The Ducks already posted a comprehensive victory at Arizona State on Thursday night, in which they reached 43 points in 20 minutes, then coasted to a 43-21 win over the Sun Devils.
No. 1 ALABAMA 44, TENNESSEE 13
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Alabama may have a championship-caliber offense to go with its best-in-the-nation defense.
A.J. McCarron tossed four touchdown passes and threw for a career-high 306 yards as the top-ranked Crimson Tide trounced Tennessee at Neyland Stadium. Freshman receiver Amari Cooper caught seven passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns, while freshman running back T.J. Yeldon ran for 129 yards and two scored on 15 carries.
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