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This time Florida's elation over Tennessee loss is about more than spite

Head coach Will Muschamp of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrates after defeating the Tennessee Volunteers 24-21 Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C. [Getty Images]
Head coach Will Muschamp of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrates after defeating the Tennessee Volunteers 24-21 Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C. [Getty Images]
Published Oct. 31, 2016

GAINESVILLE -— Florida was still basking in Saturday's win over Georgia when some of the Gators began cheering about another game — South Carolina's 24-21 victory over Tennessee.

"It's always good to see Tennessee lose," C Cam Dillard said. "No one likes Tennessee."

Those statements hold true for the Gators any week, given a rivalry that has ranged from intense to outrageous (ducks pulling trucks?). But it was even bigger this weekend, given the SEC East standings.

UF gained a two-game advantage over the Volunteers, who still have to play second-place Kentucky. If the Gators win two of their final three conference games, they will repeat as division champions and earn a trip to Atlanta for the SEC title game. That gave players another reason to cheer for the Gamecocks and former UF head coach Will Muschamp.

"Obviously whenever Tennessee loses, it's nice," DE Bryan Cox said. "It definitely helped us, but we're focusing on what we have to do. All we have to do is take it week by week and do our thing, and we'll be in good position."

BACKFIELD UPDATE: McElwain said RB Mark Thompson will return from a one-game suspension following his citation for marijuana possession last week. The status of RB Jordan Cronkrite, who did not travel with the team to Jacksonville, remains unclear heading into Saturday's game at Arkansas. "It's his choice," of whether to return, coach Jim McElwain said. With both out against Georgia, sophomore Jordan Scarlett gained 93 yards on 26 carries, and true freshman Lamical Perine gained 33 yards on 15 rushes.

KICKING OFF: Kickoff and TV information for UF's Nov. 12 home game against South Carolina won't be announced until after this weekend's games. The ACC announced that Miami will play at Virginia at 2 p.m. in a regionally televised game.

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