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August 7, 2012
As the start of the 2012 season nears, GamecockCentral.com's David Cloninger takes a look back at the top plays of 2011, South Carolina's finest year. The No. 1 play from last year will be revealed on Aug. 30, USC's season-opener.
NO. 24: Going Somewhere?
The game: Florida at No. 15 South Carolina, Nov. 12
The scene: South Carolina 17, Florida 12, 0:42, fourth quarter
The cast: Defensive tackle Travian Robertson, Florida quarterback John Brantley
The setup: As they have against many SEC teams, the Gamecocks were seeking a second consecutive win over Florida and were in position to do so. A struggling offensive game (each team ended with under 300 yards) was nearly stalemated until Jay Wooten booted a 28-yard field goal for a 17-12 USC lead with 9:14 to play. The Gators had to punt after driving to the USC 44-yard-line, and USC nearly ran out the clock before having to punt. Florida took over at its 11-yard-line, still plenty of time to get downfield and score.
Brantley, not a great quarterback but good enough to win, especially with all of the speed around him, took the field and promptly threw an incomplete. He straightened himself out to hit Jordan Reed and Chris Rainey, respectively, for a combined 31 yards and one last shot at the Florida 42.
The play: Brantley dropped back, his speed men in motion, and looked for an open man as the pass-rush crashed in. Trying to avoid Devin Taylor and Jadeveon Clowney, Brantley rolled right only to find an unaccounted-for behemoth waiting. Robertson met Brantley and wrapped his arms around him as he left his feet - Brantley had no choice but to tuck the ball in as Robertson's massive hands yanked him to the turf. The clock hit zeroes shortly after.
The aftermath: The Gamecocks finished a 17-12 win and their first-ever sweep of the SEC East, but were denied a shot at the SEC championship game after Georgia edged USC by a game in the standings. USC used the Florida to start a four-game winning streak to end the season, the first time the Gamecocks won their final four games in a year since 1958.
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