GAINESVILLE — To say the week leading into Saturday night's Vanderbilt game was chaotic for No. 1 Florida would be a huge understatement.
From the early week suspension of senior LB Brandon Spikes for his actions in the Georgia game to the $30,000 fine imposed on coach Urban Meyer on Friday for violating SEC policy on publicly criticizing game officials, the Gators were under constant scrutiny.
That is nothing new these days, but it's something the Gators used as a rallying point.
"This was the week of stuff; it's been the year of stuff," Meyer said. "And what does stuff do to bad families? It rips them apart. What does it do to bad teams? It rips them apart. What's it do to solid teams and solid families? It brings them a little closer. And honestly, I think this is a very solid family, solid team.
"We had a pretty solid win over an SEC opponent. I'm very proud of them."
The Gators (9-0) have won a school-record 19 consecutive games, and 18 of the wins have been by double digits. Yet, the Gators say they still haven't played their best and the offense's struggles are a concern.
But don't insinuate to Meyer that Florida's winning streak, which leads the nation, isn't a major accomplishment.
"It's not ho-hum, I can assure you of that," he said. "If it's ho-hum for somebody, you've got to really reflect and say, 'Where am I headed in this life right now?'
"Because if 19-0 at the University of Florida, if it's ho-hum, then you've got one exciting life."
GAMECOCKS SEARCH FOR CONSISTENCY: South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said the Gamecocks had some bright spots in Saturday's 33-16 loss at Arkansas but what they really need is more consistency.
"There was some good offense there in the course of the day, but we didn't score a lot of points," Spurrier said. "We had a chance to score 28 to 30 points in the game if we'd really hit and capitalized on our scoring chances, but we didn't do it.
"We're trying to regroup and trying to get ready to go play Florida this week. Basically, we're just trying to get ourselves better, play a little better and try to score more points when we get chances this week."
Antonya English can be reached at email@example.com or (813) 226-3389.