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COLLEGE FOOTBALL / 1996

Florida's Bad Game Still Good Enough

College football: No. 1 Gators beat South Carolina, 52-25, despite Wuerffel's dismal performance.

November 17, 1996|From Associated Press

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Top-ranked Florida isn't playing as well as it was last month when the Gators put games away at halftime. But they're still 10-0.

Florida survived another sloppy game and a dismal performance by Danny Wuerffel, getting 139 yards rushing and three touchdowns from Fred Taylor in a 52-25 Southeastern Conference victory over South Carolina on Saturday.

Next up for Florida is a nonconference showdown at No. 3 Florida State in two weeks, followed by the SEC title game, and if it wins those, the Sugar Bowl for the national championship.

Wuerffel, playing his last home game, missed five of his first six passes, was seven for 22 at halftime and finished 11 for 34 with two interceptions.

It was his worst game since his freshman year against Georgia, when he was benched in the first half after going three for nine for 37 yards.

"Danny had some not-so-Danny kind of plays," Coach Steve Spurrier said. "We sputtered a lot today."

Still, he threw a 56-yard touchdown pass to Jacquez Green and a perfect post pass to Reidel Anthony for a 52-yard touchdown that gave Florida (10-0, 8-0) the lead it needed.

"He didn't have a great day, but he still did what he had to do," said South Carolina linebacker Shane Burnham. "We played them as good as anyone and they scored 52 points. That's a major difference."

Wuerffel finished with 290 yards, and became only the 11th player in Division I-A to pass for more than 10,000 yards in his career.

"I would have liked to have played sharper obviously, but that happens sometimes," Wuerffel said. "We're in the same spot. We still have the potential to be a great offense. But we also have potential to fiddle around."

The Gamecocks (5-5, 4-4) got two touchdowns from quarterback Anthony Wright and 120 yards rushing from freshman Troy Hambrick, the first 100-yard game against Florida all year.

Hambrick's two-yard touchdown run with 51 seconds left in the third quarter made it 35-22, but then the Gators shut down South Carolina.

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