Columbia, S.C Steve Spurrier had spent nearly a year downplaying his first meeting with Florida and what it might mean to beat his alma mater.
Turns out, it feels pretty good for the Gamecocks' head football coach.
With Mike Davis and Daccus Turman each running for two touchdowns, South Carolina defeated the 12th-ranked Gators, 30-22, Saturday, the first time Spurrier had played the school where he won a Heisman Trophy in 1966 as a quarterback and a national championship in 1996 as a coach.
It wasn't the kind of blowout Spurrier's Gators perfected during his 12 seasons as their leader from 1990 to 2001. But it broke Florida's 14-game winning streak in the series - Spurrier was 10-0 vs. South Carolina - that had dated to 1939.
"It's more fun when your team is not a dominating team," Spurrier said. "It's neat the way our guys are winning. We are defying logic."
All except the college football adage that Spurrier wins the South Carolina-Florida matchup, no matter what sideline he's on.
"I know he feels great right now," Gamecocks defensive lineman Orus Lambert said.
The loss by Florida (7-3, 5-3 SEC) closed any chance it had of playing for the Southeastern Conference championship.
With their fifth straight SEC victory - a school first - the Gamecocks (7-3, 5-3) have an outside shot of reaching the Georgia Dome as SEC East champs.
South Carolina needs East front-runner Georgia to lose its final two games against Auburn and Kentucky.
"The headline in the Florida paper should read, 'Guess who's pulling for Auburn now?"' Spurrier joked.
Florida's last chance ended when, down 30-22, it had forced South Carolina to punt with 1:00 left. But the Gators were called for an illegal-participation penalty, and the Gamecocks ran out the clock.
"We just want to regroup and go forward," said Gators coach Urban Meyer, hired after Spurrier took himself out of the running for Florida's job last fall.