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December 11, 2013

Top five plays of 2013...No. 3

This week, Gamecock Central is counting down the top five plays of 2013 as we prepare for the Capitol One Bowl against Wisconsin on Jan. 1.

Today, No. 3, Connor Shaw's third quarter 32-yard touchdown pass to Bruce Ellington.

Trailing 14-6 at halftime to a Florida team playing terrific defense and taking away Shaw's ability to convert third downs with his feet, the Gamecocks' first drive of the second half started promisingly as it picked up 32 yards on five plays. An incomplete pass to Shon Carson on third down, however, set up a fourth-and-3 from the Florida 32 and a huge play for a Gamecock team that had not found the end zone in the first half.

Lining up in a single-back set with three wide receivers out wide to the right, Shaw took the shotgun snap and immediately rolled right. With Florida defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard running him down from behind, Mike Davis stops him with a key block to buy Shaw about three seconds, which is all he needs to stop, plant his feet and launch a high pass that drops right into the arms of Ellington, whose defender, Brian Poole, turned the wrong way and fell down.

The play got the Gamecocks to within one at 14-13 and the Gators wouldn't score in the second half as USC escaped with a 19-14 win to finish the SEC season at 6-2 for the third straight year.

The play:

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