Jason Brown and South Carolina looked like a team coming out of the bye week with an extra bounce in its step. Then the Gamecocks put together one of the more shocking upsets of the college football season.

The third-string quarterback got his first start of the season, and got help from a resurgent running game to lead the Gamecocks to a 20-point lead at halftime. South Carolina had 316 yards by halftime, including 147 rushing as Zaquandre White and Kevin Harris each had runs of at least 39 yards.

It was clear most of the game, but was confirmed that it was Brown’s night with about 6:40 left in the fourth quarter when Brown bobbled a snap, and then ran for a first down. The Gamecocks coasted to a 40-17 victory in an impressive win that will have reverberations around college football.

This will be a signature win for Shane Beamer in his first season, and a death knell for Dan Mullen’s future at Florida. Mullen dropped to 2-8 in its last 10 games against Power 5 opponents.

By halftime, the Gamecocks had reached the most points they’d scored against an FBS team this season as they came in averaging 20.9 points per game. It was the first time that South Carolina scored on its first 5 possessions since 2013 against Coastal Carolina. The Gamecocks didn’t punt until their first drive of the second half.

Dan Mullen and Florida, facing increased pressure from the fans and media following his performance in big games and with flagging recruiting, came out with a passing onslaught. The Gators had 10 straight passes to open the game. Emory Jones started strong, going 8-for-11 for 163 yards and a TD to begin the game, but then stumbled to 2-for-7 passing for 12 yards with a fumble down the stretch of the first half. Then the Gators began with a 3-and-out to start the second half.

With a 4-4 record, the Gators seemed out of sorts most of the night, as the loss meant it’s Florida’s last 3-game losing streak was 2017.

Florida struggled to run the ball all game, but had a key fourth down stop when it couldn’t convert a fourth down from its own 32-yard line with 6:01 left in the third quarter. Florida came into Saturday leading the country in rushing, averaging 6.1 yards per play, but after that stop, the Gators fell to 1.8 yards per carry. Florida had just 28 yards rushing after that fourth down stop, but came in averaging 242 yards.

The Gamecocks scored 6 plays later after Harris again showed glimpses of his 2020 form as he rushed for 22 yards on the drive, and Brown found Jaheim Bell for an 8-yard touchdown after White converted a fourth down. It was a statement drive as the Gamecocks went up by 30 with that sequence.

South Carolina got touchdowns from Juju McDowell out of the goal line on a 2-yard run, and after the Gamecocks took the lead with a second-quarter field goal, they saw Brown hit Josh Vann for a 24-yard touchdown when he was open in the end zone. Then there was the play at the end of the first half that sent Williams-Brice Stadium into a frenzy.

Aaron Sterling came around right end and caught up to Jones to punch out the ball and create a fumble that Jabari Ellis scooped up and rumbled for an 18-yard touchdown.

South Carolina at one point had a 10.1 yards per carry average, and finished the first half at 8.2, with 147 yards on 18 carries.