Will Muschamp, South Carolina fans furious with officiating in loss to No. 9 Florida

South Carolina coach Will Muschamp was furious with the officiating vs. Florida. (Photo by Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Looking for a second straight top-10 upset, South Carolina had a lead entering the fourth quarter against No. 9 Florida but ended up losing 38-27.

And the Gamecocks fans in attendance were not at all happy about the way the game was officiated. There were some questionable calls in the first half, but the play that really got the fans riled up came early in the third quarter.

South Carolina opened the half by taking a 17-10 lead, but Florida promptly responded with a 75-yard touchdown run by Dameon Pierce. Two flags potentially could have been thrown on Florida on the play — but there was one penalty that was undoubtedly missed.

As the ball was snapped, it was clear that right tackle Jean Delance moved early. The play should have been whistled for a false start.

And as Pearce sprinted down the right sideline, Florida receiver Tyrie Cleveland was with him every step of the way and blocking Israel Mukuamu down the field. But Cleveland seemed to have a healthy hold of Mukuamu’s uniform as they ran down the field. No flag was thrown though, and Pearce’s touchdown tied the game at 17-17.

South Carolina knocked in a field goal to take a 20-17 lead late in the third, before Florida seized control. A diving 25-yard touchdown catch by Freddie Swain gave Florida a 24-20 lead before a South Carolina fumble gave the ball right back to the UF offense.

Penalty wipes out South Carolina INT

It looked like the Gamecocks’ defense would bail out the offense when Jaycee Horn came down with a diving interception in the end zone, but there was a flag. Horn was penalized for holding, taking the interception off the board and giving UF a first down.

It was the correct call. Horn clearly grabbed hold of Van Jefferson’s facemask before making the interception.

(via ESPN)

But South Carolina fans weren’t happy and ended up throwing towels and trash onto the field in protest.

(via ESPN)

Missed offensive pass interference leads to UF TD

South Carolina fans were about to get much more upset. On the next play, Kyle Trask hit Kyle Pitts for a Florida touchdown, and the officials missed a pretty blatant offensive pass interference penalty on the Gators.

(via ESPN)

Josh Hammond was blocking a South Carolina defender before the pass even left Trask’s hand, but no flag was thrown and the Florida lead extended to 31-20.

South Carolina coach Will Muschamp was understandably furious, and gave the officials an earful.

(via ESPN)

Later in the fourth, Muschamp was so mad that he was hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty as the Gators closed out a victory. After the game, Muschamp said the penalty he received was “gutless.”

South Carolina was on the heels of a massive upset over Georgia, but could not shock the SEC in back-to-back weeks. The Gamecocks dropped to 3-4 with the loss.

On the other side, Florida rebounded nicely from last week’s loss to LSU, the team’s first of the season. The Gators improved to 7-1 with the win. And after a bye week, they will host Georgia in a game that could decide the SEC East.

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