Florida v South Carolina
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Florida rallied from 10 points down Saturday to beat South Carolina 41-39 and improve to 5-2 in what was just the Gators' second victory away from home under coach Billy Napier. Florida quarterback Graham Mertz connected with wide receiver Ricky Pearsall on a 21-yard go-ahead touchdown with just 47 seconds left in regulation, putting an exclamation point on a career day for both players.

Mertz, who joined the Gators this offseason after transferring from Wisconsin, finished 30 of 48 passing for a career-high 423 yards with three touchdown tosses. That included the game-winner to Pearsall, whose 10 catches for 166 yards were also personal bests. Mertz also converted three straight fourth-down tries for Florida, which put together one of its most consistent offensive performances of the season despite tripping up on third down (4 of 15).

Saturday marked the second consecutive game in which Mertz finished with three touchdowns passing. His prior career-high in yards passing also came this season in Florida's Week 1 road loss to Utah when Mertz completed 31 of 44 for 333 yards. It was Pearsall's second 100-yard receiving performance of 2023 after he totaled 123 yards in a Week 2 win against McNeese. 

After Pearsall found pay dirt, the Gators' Miguel Mitchell intercepted Gamecocks QB Spencer Rattler on the ensuing drive. Florida then chose to take a safety on its final possession -- South Carolina had all three of its timeouts -- to hang on for the 2-point victory.

The win improved Florida to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in SEC play with the bye week upcoming before it faces No. 1 Georgia in the teams' annual rivalry game. The Gators entered just 1-7 away from home under Napier with losses in 13 of 14 such games dating back to the prior regime.

Though Rattler also had himself a day completing 23 of 30 yards for 313 yards and four touchdowns with 46 yards rushing, it was not enough to get past Florida. South Carolina (2-4) came off a bye week ahead of the Florida game and will now hit the road for consecutive contests against Missouri and Texas A&M.