1. Archive

This time, Gators get it right at night

It wasn't raining at the end of Florida's game against South Carolina on Saturday.

That and the score may have been the only noticeable difference from the Gators' last night game on the road.

Their last performance on the road at night was a little less than a month ago and wound up being a 23-20 loss to Auburn.

"We lost to some good teams on the road at night," coach Steve Spurrier said. "But I think that was our best performance. We played better than we did against Auburn."

The Gators had not won a game on the road at night in the past two seasons, including losses to Auburn, Florida State and Miami in the Sugar Bowl.

But quarterback Rex Grossman said it was superstitious to think Florida couldn't win on the road at night.

"That's ridiculous," Grossman said. "If you are going to be superstitious, we played at night during high school, it should come natural."

Initially it may have seemed to affect the Gators. Again, Florida fell behind in the game as it did against the Tigers.

The outcome, however, was not the same. After falling behind 10-3, the Gators scored 44 points in a row.

"Even though we fumbled there in the beginning, we just kept playing," Spurrier said. "Our guys had a wonderful attitude coming into this game, and we just kept playing through the full 60 minutes."

The difference could have be attributed to the running game. With Earnest Graham in lineup against South Carolina, the Gators had 170 yards on the ground to minus-36 against Auburn.

Graham rushed for 91 yards on 19 attempts. Grossman was the second-leading rusher with 36 on four tries, including a scramble that turned into a 31-yard gain.

"That wasn't planned," Grossman said. "There wasn't anyone open deep, and there was a big hole in front of me, so I just took off running."

But Grossman's running game wasn't the big difference at the quarterback position. Against the Tigers, Grossman threw four interceptions as part of the Gators' five turnovers.

Florida had one turnover Saturday _ a Lito Sheppard fumble early in the first quarter.