COLUMBIA — South Carolina knows what it’s like to play without its star running back late in the season.
Former Gamecock Marcus Lattimore suffered season-ending injuries in 2011 and 2012. On Saturday night, Mike Davis left the game briefly against Florida after ripping off a 9-yard gain on the Gamecocks’ first play of the second half.
Davis was helped off the field with an unspecified injury but later came back into the game, giving the Gamecock faithful a sigh of relief.
Davis entered the contest leading the Southeastern Conference in rushing with an average of 117.6 yards per contest. In the first half against Florida, Davis had eight carries for 49 yards. He had five carries in the second half for five yards.
The sophomore surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in the Nov. 2 win against Missisippi State.
Shon Carson relieved Davis and helped the Gamecocks move down on their first touchdown drive of the game. He finished with 102 yards on 13 carries.
South Carolina lost backup tailback Brandon Wilds early in the season against Central Florida. He has not played since but has been cleared to play.
BRIEF SCARE: Jadeveon Clowney left the game briefly early in the second quarter with an injury to his right ankle.
Clowney, who has been nursing a sore foot all season, received medical attention and returned to the game a few plays later.
On Florida’s next series, Clowney tackled Trey Burton for a 3-yard loss to force a punt.
Later in the game, Clowney made a huge tackle for loss on Mack Brown when Florida had third and goal at the 8.
A unanimous All-American as a junior, Clowney needs a strong finish to the season if he is going to challenge the school records for sacks and tackles for loss in a career.
ONCE A GATOR: Steve Spurrier’s connections to Florida are no secret. But the South Carolina coach has grown weary of answering questions about his alma mater.
Spurrier, of course, won the Heisman Trophy in 1966 as a Gator and later returned to coach the team for 12 seasons. While in Gainesville, Spurrier won a national championship and led Florida to five Southeastern Conference championship game wins.
Since coming to South Carolina in 2005, Spurrier has
gone 4-5 against the Gators. His Gamecocks have beaten Florida three in Columbia and once on the road.
THIS AND THAT: Bowl scouts from the Capital One, Gator and Chick-fil-A bowls scouted the Florida-South Carolina game. … Attendance for Saturday night’s game was 83,853, the most for any game at Williams-Brice Stadium this season.