Elliott Fry kicked four field goals and No. 11 South Carolina won its school-record 16th straight home game, sending banged-up Florida to its fifth consecutive loss with a 19-14 victory Saturday night.
The Gamecocks (8-2, 6-2 Southeastern Conference) struggled to score points against the Gators' SEC-leading defense until Fry gave them a 16-14 lead with a 22-yard field goal with 6:43 remaining.
Trailing 19-14, Gators freshman quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg led the Gators into South Carolina territory but was intercepted by Jimmy Legree to end the threat. This is the longest losing streak for Florida (4-6, 3-5) since dropping nine straight during its 0-10-1 season in 1979.
The Gamecocks' win kept them in the SEC's Eastern Division race. They got a large boost in the bid for the title game with Auburn's last-second, tipped-ball comeback to defeat Georgia. The Gamecocks still need Missouri to lose once more.
Missouri play at Ole Miss next week and then at home against Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M on the final weekend of the regular season. South Carolina is done with league play, facing FCS opponent Coastal Carolina before finishing up with Clemson.
The Gamecocks' win surpassed the 15 straight the program won from 1978-80 when Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers was leading the way. South Carolina's 16 straight in its home stadium is longest current streak in the country.
But Florida sure looked ready to end it the way it played in the first half. Without injured starting quarterback Tyler Murphy, the Gators successfully went to the run. They ran for 169 yards in the opening half and Kelvin Taylor had rushing TDs of 20 and 29 yards, the two longest permitted by South Carolina this season.
The Gamecocks defense tightened up in a big way in the second half as Florida managed just 31 rushing yards.
South Carolina's rally began on Connor Shaw's 32-yard scoring pass to Bruce Ellington to cut the lead to 14-13 before Fry's two fourth-quarter field goals provided the final margin.
Florida had its chances. The Gators to South Carolina's 8 after the Gamecocks' touchdown, yet Austin Hardin missed a 32-yard field goal.
Florida tried a fake punt play on fourth-and-13 and trailing 16-14, but Trey Burton's pass to defensive lineman Leon Orr was knocked away with 4:40 remaining.
Shon Carson ran for 102 yards, including a 58-yard burst on South Carolina's drive that led to Fry's go-ahead field goal.
South Carolina was looking for lots of outside help to make it to the SEC championship game and got a boost with Auburn's 43-38 win. The final moments from Jordan-Hare Stadium were shown on South Carolina's massive replay board, with Gamecocks buzzing and cheering as Georgia fell short.
Murphy's sore shoulder kept him from the field despite rehabbing throughout the week. The Gator were also minus starting cornerback Marcus Roberson, who the team said was suspended for violating team rules.
Still, Florida's defense and made life miserable for Shaw, Mike Davis and the Gamecocks.
South Carolina had first-and-goal on the 5 on its opening drive, yet settled for Fry's 25-yard field goal. The Gamecocks were deep in Florida territory the next time they had the ball and again were held to a field goal.
Florida came in last in overall offense and next-to-last in rushing at 146 yards a game on the ground this season. But Taylor and Mack Brown burst through several open holes as the Gators put up 169 yards rushing in the first half.
Florida did its best not to overwhelm Mornhinweg, whose father Marty is the offensive coordinator of the New York Jets, in his first college action. Burton, a receiver, ran the wildcat formation and the Gators ran 22 of 24 plays.
Mornhinweg was 10 of 13 for 107 yards with an interception.