GAINESVILLE, Florida (Ticker) -- The consolation prize for Florida was a 28-7 win over South Carolina.
Rex Grossman threw four touchdown passes, but the 14th-ranked Gators settled for second place in the East Division of the Southeastern Conference after Georgia rallied to edge Auburn earlier in the day.
Florida could have clinched the East Division with a win over South Carolina and a loss by Georgia. But the Bulldogs rallied in the final minutes to defeat Auburn in a game that began 2 1/2 hours earlier.
The result from Auburn was not posted on the scoreboard at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium until after the Gators completed their dominating performance. And if word of the Georgia victory made it to the Florida sideline, it did not stop the Gators (8-3, 5-2 SEC East).
"We knew we couldn't control what was going to happen in that game, so we just tried to focus on this game and go out and win this game," said running back Earnest Graham, who had 17 carries for 81 yards. "We can't really think about that right now. We have two weeks until we play Florida State. It's too bad we can't go to the SEC Championship, but we still have a season to finish."
Grossman completed 24-of-36 passes for 228 yards and was not intercepted. He completed TD passes of three yards to Carlos Perez and 15 yards to Darrell Carpenter to give the Gators a 14-0 halftime lead.
"It was a fun win. It just seemed like we were on top of our game tonight, both offensively and defensively," Grossman said. "It was a fun game to play because we knew what (South Carolina) was going to do and it was just a matter of executing and going out there and having a good time."
Grossman threw a 12-yard TD pass to O.J. Small in the third quarter and a 27-yarder to Kelvin Knight in the fourth.
"I'm proud of the fact that our team beat everyone in the division," coach Ron Zook said. "We have an opportunity to have a big, big year, possibly win 10 games. This is a great win for us. I'm proud of the way they came out."
Grossman engineered a pair of long, time-consuming drives in the second quarter.
The Gators marched 69 yards in 13 plays, capped by Grossman's screen pass to Perez that made it 7-0. The Gamecocks soon were forced to punt, and Florida marched 81 yards in 12 plays, capped by the post pass to Carpenter.
The Gators are off next week before playing Florida State on Thanksgiving weekend.
South Carolina (5-6, 3-5) lost its fourth straight game and a change at quarterback did not make a difference. Frustrated with his team's struggles on offense, coach Lou Holtz gave Dondrail Pinkins his first start over 26-year-old senior Corey Jenkins.
"We are definitely disappointed," Holtz said. "If they hadn't invented the forward pass, we would not be hurting as much as we are now."
Pinkins completed just 8-of-17 passes for 74 yards and was sacked twice. He also led the Gamecocks in rushing with 84 yards on 13 carries.
"You just have to go out and do what you are told to do," Pinkins said.
South Carolina finishes its season next week at Clemson.
Florida held an opponent under 100 yards passing for the fourth time this season.
Grossman had a far more enjoyable night, completing passes to nine different receivers and also catching a 21-yard pass from receiver Keiwan Ratliff on a trick play.
South Carolina recorded its only touchdown on a one-yard TD run by Daccus Turman in the third.