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South Carolina vs. Florida 2012 results: Gators win 44-11 with an opportunistic defense

The Florida Gators proved why the computers put them at No. 2 in the BCS rankings Saturday afternoon, annihilating No. 7 South Carolina with relative ease, 44-11.

The Gators set the tone early as CB Loucheiz Purifoy laid out South Carolina's QB Connor Shaw to force a fumble on the first snap of the game. Overall, Florida managed to put 21 points on the board in the first half despite only 29 yards of offense thanks to three Gamecocks fumbles.

Clearly frustrated after only two field goals in the first half, South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier elected to bench hist starter Shaw (9-of-20, 72 yards) coming out of the locker room. But backup Dylan Thompson didn't fair much better with just 83 yards, an interception and zero scores on 8-of-20 passing.

With the game results all but official, Gators head coach Mike Muschamp pulled his starters early in the fourth but still managed to put up 23 points in the second half. Overall, the Gamecocks out-gained Florida 191 to 183 in the total yards department but their four turnovers allowed the Gators to take advantage of some short fields.

Box Score Hero: With the Gators averaging only 1.9 yards per carry, QB Jeff Driskel couldn't waste any of the opportunities his defense was handing him. And the sophomore signal caller didn't, throwing for less than 100 yards passing but still tossing four touchdowns on 16 attempts.

Rankings Ramifications: South Carolina was sitting at No. 7 in the initial BCS rankings but they'll likely be far out of the top-10 after this one. As for Florida, an impressive win like this will definitely prevent Oregon from leapfrogging them into the No. 2 slot.

But Did They Cover? As 3.5-point favorites, Florida more than did their job.

Next Week's Schedule: South Carolina will be looking to get off their two-game SEC losing skid as they head back home to face Tennessee. As for the Gators, they'll remain at home but be faced with the challenge of a talented Georgia team.

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Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.