Ga­tors beat South Carolina in Swamp.

El Dorado News-Times - - Sports -

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Feleipe Franks placed his in­dex fin­ger across his lips af­ter both touch­down runs, send­ing a mes­sage to a home crowd that booed him ear­lier.

Af­ter the sec­ond one, there was noth­ing Franks could have done to si­lence the Florida faith­ful.

Franks ac­counted for three touch­downs, in­clud­ing the go-ahead score with a lit­tle more than four min­utes re­main­ing, and the 19th-ranked Ga­tors ral­lied to beat South Carolina 35-31 Satur­day and end a twogame los­ing streak.

"I'm a su­per emo­tional player," Franks said. "That what makes it a two-way street. Lots of peo­ple are go­ing to like me and lots of peo­ple aren't go­ing to like me. Maybe that's some­thing I shouldn't have did. But at the same time, I'm an emo­tional player. I want to win as much as any­body in the world. I'm an emo­tional guy. That's the way I play my game. I do apol­o­gize for that."

Franks dived across the goal line on fourth down from in­side the 1-yard line to put the Ga­tors (7-3, 5-3 South­east­ern Con­fer­ence, No. 15 CFP) ahead for the first time all day and for good.

Coach Dan Mullen said he didn't hes­i­tate to go for it even though a short field goal would have tied the game. The Ga­tors over­came a 17-point deficit in the sec­ond half to pre­vent for­mer Florida coach and cur­rent South Carolina coach Will Muschamp from get­ting a win in his sec­ond trip back to Gainesville.

C.J. Hen­der­son sealed the vic­tory when he in­ter­cepted Jake Bent­ley's third-down pass on the en­su­ing drive. Muschamp has dropped eighth of his last 10 games in the Swamp.

"It's a hard, tough loss," said Muschamp, who is 0-2 against his for­mer team in Gainesville. "We had our op­por­tu­ni­ties. Give Florida credit. They made plays they had to at the end . ... When you go on the road in our league

and have the op­por­tu­ni­ties in front of us, to lose the game, it's gut-wrench­ing."

Franks com­pleted 15 of 21 passes for 161 yards and a touch­down. He also ran for 36 yards and two scores a week af­ter get­ting benched for the third time in two sea­sons.

Mullen opened up the quar­ter­back com­pe­ti­tion dur­ing the week, but backup Kyle Trask broke a foot in prac­tice Wed­nes­day and is out for the re­main­der of the reg­u­lar sea­son. That left Franks as Mullen's only vi­able op­tion against the Game­cocks (5-4, 4-4).

Still, the home crowd turned on Franks quickly Satur­day by boo­ing him af­ter con­sec­u­tive plays on the first se­ries in which he fum­bled and badly over­threw a re­ceiver.

Franks re­sponded af­ter his first TD run.

"He's an emo­tional kid," Mullen said. "I told him he's go­ing to get booed . ... I also told him don't worry about any­thing that's not go­ing to help us

win the foot­ball game. Score a touch­down and get off the side­lines so we can coach you."

South Carolina (5-4, 4-4) scored touch­downs on its first two pos­ses­sions and looked like it would roll on the road — much like Mis­souri did last week. Jake Bent­ley had TD passes to end both drives, but did lit­tle down the stretch.

But Franks and the Ga­tors re­sponded.

The Ga­tors ended up with 367 yards rush­ing. Jor­dan Scar­lett had 159 yards on the ground. Lam­i­cal Per­ine added 107 yards and two scores. Dynamic re­ceiver Kadar­ius Toney chipped in 51 yards on four car­ries.


South Carolina: Af­ter be­ing up 17 points late in the third quar­ter, the Game­cocks found them­selves in an­other nail-biter late. It was the team's fifth con­sec­u­tive game de­cided by four points or less. They are 3-2 in those.

Florida: The Ga­tors still have hopes of mak­ing a big-time bowl game and reach­ing 10 wins for just the sec­ond time in the last six sea­sons.


Al­though Muschamp will for­ever be tied to Florida, he won't have many con­nec­tions to his for­mer school af­ter this game.

The Ga­tors have six fifth-year se­niors who signed with Florida be­fore Muschamp's fi­nal sea­son in 2014. Florida also has one more pay­ment to Muschamp to ful­fill his sev­er­ance, a $787,500 de­posit later this month. That will com­plete his $6.3 mil­lion buy­out.


Florida was with­out three key play­ers: guard Brett Heggie, safety Brad Ste­wart and re­ceiver Fred­die Swain. Heggie and Swain were in­jured last week against Mis­souri. Ste­wart has missed two of the last three games.

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