No happy homecoming for Muschamp in Florida – The State
South Carolina’s day at The Swamp on Saturday:
Turnover on downs.
It wasn’t the triumphant return of Will Muschamp that any Gamecocks fan wanted. Instead, it was a 20-7 win by No. 22 Florida, which officially ended South Carolina’s hopes of an SEC East crown and a three-game winning streak. The Gamecocks (5-5, 3-5 SEC) wrapped up their conference schedule with the loss.
“As poorly as things had gone, it’s a 14-point game at halftime, and you have every opportunity in the world to capitalize on some things, and we never got over the hump as far as some things we needed to do to convert in the game,” said Muschamp, who was fired after coaching the Gators from 2011-14.
The Gamecocks fell behind 20-0 while their offense managed 119 yards through three quarters. South Carolina finished with 256 yards as freshman quarterback Jake Bentley (18-for-33, 213 yards, one interception, zero touchdowns) suffered his first loss as USC’s starting quarterback.
“There are some plays we left out there today,” tight end Hayden Hurst said. “That’s what hurts the most.”
Hurst and freshman wide receiver Bryan Edwards each had a critical drops in the first half.
“Against a defense like that, you have to make those plays when you get the opportunity,” Muschamp said of the gators (7-2, 5-2).
The Gators, who were playing with backup quarterback Austin Appleby because of an injury to starter Luke Del Rio, had 257 yards at halftime and 372 for the game. Running back Jordan Scarlett rushed 20 times for 134 yards.
“Defensively, extremely disappointed, continue to struggle with some things in the run game,” Muschamp said. “We had guys at the point of attack, but had some missed tackles, some missed