No. 11 Florida thumped Florida State on Saturday 41-14 to snap a five-game skid against their rivals and end the Seminoles’ chances at extending their NCAA-record bowl streak.
With the victory, the Gators move to 9-3 and could be selected for a coveted New Year’s Six bowl game. With the loss, Florida State finishes 5-7 and will see its 36-year bowl streak end while also clinching its first losing season in 42 years.
Coming into Saturday, the Seminoles hadn’t missed out on a bowl game since 1981 or had a losing season since 1976.
Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks gets much of the credit for that. The sophomore, who grew up less than 30 miles from Florida State’s campus in Crawfordville, Fla., finished 16-of-26 for 254 yards and three touchdowns. Receivers Trevon Grimes, Van Jefferson and Josh Hammond all caught touchdown passes from Franks, while Grimes led the Gators with five catches for 118 yards.
Gators running back Lamical Perine also had a big game Saturday, rushing for 129 yards and one touchdown. Fellow running back Jordan Scarlett added 88 yards rushing and a late touchdown to put the exclamation point on the victory.
Florida hadn’t beaten Florida State since 2012 before Saturday’s win.
Seminoles quarterback Deondre Francois was 14-of-29 for 154 yards with one passing touchdown, one rushing touchdown and two interceptions in the loss. Receiver Tamorrion Terry led the Seminoles with three catches for 78 yards, but the Florida State offensive highlights were few and far between Saturday.
The Gators took a 13-7 lead into halftime behind field goals of 27 and 23 yards from kicker Evan McPherson and a long touchdown run by Perine, who busted through the Seminoles’ front-line defense and went 74 yards nearly untouched to the end zone.
Florida State got on the board five minutes before halftime when Francois found running back Cam Akers from 15 yards out. Akers made an acrobatic, one-handed catch to secure the touchdown.
It was actually the second hook-up of the game between Francois and Akers for a score, but the first one didn’t count.
After falling behind 10-0 in the second quarter, Florida State looked as if it had drawn the score to 10-7 when Francois hit Akers for a 72-yard touchdown. But it was called back because of an illegal-shift penalty on the Seminoles — their seventh penalty of the first half at the time.
Florida State was flagged 10 times for 60 yards total in the game.
The Florida defense was led by linebacker Vosean Joseph with eight tackles, while defensive backs Donovan Stiner and Trey Dean each had interceptions. Linebacker Jachai Polite added 2 1/2 sacks in the win.
Florida State linebacker Jaiden Woodbey recorded a team-high 11 tackles.
With the win, the Gators now lead the all-time series against their in-state rivals 35-26-2.
—Field Level Media