COLUMBIA, South Carolina (Ticker) -- South Carolina told its fans to wear black. But by the end of the night, Florida had the Gamecocks feeling blue.
Rex Grossman threw for 302 yards and three touchdowns, including a pair to Jabar Gaffney, as the third-ranked Gators routed No. 15 South Carolina, 54-17, in a key Southeastern Conference game.
South Carolina fans were asked to wear black -- a school color -- to provide extra support for a school playing its biggest home game under third-year coach Lou Holtz.
The crowd was in a frenzy when Lito Shepard fumbled a punt and South Carolina capitalized on a seven-yard TD run by Derek Watson 2:49 into the first quarter.
But after the teams exchanged field goals, Florida soon silenced the crowd by scoring the next 44 points.
"I feel terrible for the fans that showed up with all the excitement," Holtz said. "We just got beat by a far superior team. Give them credit."
The Gators had a color scheme of their own on Saturday, wearing orange pants for the first time since 1999 against Florida State. Florida looked just fine, scoring on each of its first nine possessions, failing only on the final drive of the game as time expired.
"Our guys had a wonderful attitude coming into this game and we just kept playing the full 60 minutes," coach Steve Spurrier said. "We look forward to Saturday night in Columbia. We knew the fans would be really loud and we really look forward to coming here to Columbia. I'm really proud of the guys."
Florida's offense was so dominant that it did not punt for the second straight game.
Grossman threw an 11-yard TD to Gaffney to put the Gators in front 14-10 and followed with a one-yard TD run early in the second quarter.
"It'a huge victory. If we don't win today, the season is finished," Grossman said. "They are still a good team, but they didn't show their best tonight."
Following a 36-yard field goal by Jeff Chandler, safety Marquand Manuel intercepted Phil Petty late in the first half, leading to an 11-yard TD pass from Grossman to Gaffney that gave Florida a 27-10 halftime lead.
"I got an opportunity and made the most of it," Manuel said. "Big-time players make big plays."
Grossman completed 21-of-33 passes and was not intercepted in his ninth straight 300-yard game. The sophomore eclipsed 5,000 yards in career passing yards and passed Spurrier, who had 4,484 yards from 1964-66.
Gaffney caught six passes for 110 yards.
Florida (8-1, 6-1 SEC East), currently seventh in the latest BCS standings, began a difficult stretch that includes games with Florida State and Tennessee before a possible date in the SEC title game.
It was a painful evening for the Gamecocks (7-3, 5-3), with Petty and Watson leaving in the second half with hip injuries and linebacker Kalimba Edwards exiting in the first half with a sprained knee.
Florida has won 11 straight against the Gamecocks, including all 10 meetings since South Carolina joined the SEC in 1992.
Petty split time with Corey Jenkins and completed just 5-of-12 passes for 48 yards and was intercepted twice.
Jenkins led the Gamecocks in rushing with 14 carries for 66 yards. Watson carried six times for 26 yards.
Chandler kicked four field goals, connecting from 46 and 44 yards in the third quarter to increase the lead to 33-10.
Travis Carroll returned an interception 24 yards for a score late in the third quarter and Grossman connected on a 59-yard TD strike to Gaffney to make it 47-10.
South Carolina finally scored again on a three-yard TD pass from Dondrail Pinkins to Ryan Brewer with 4:28 left.
Florida backup Brock Berlin threw a 10-yard TD pass to Kirk Wells with 2:28 left to cap the scoring.