VIDEO: Seminoles Lock Down SEC East Champ Florida 31-13, Extends Four-Game Win Streak Over Gators
By Tim Linafelt, Seminoles.com Senior Writer // November 27, 2016
ABOVE VIDEO: Highlights from the Seminoles 31-13 win against Florida.
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA (FSU SEMINOLES) – Florida State has a fool-proof recipe for success against the Florida Gators.
It involves lots of Dalvin Cook, a balanced, opportunistic offense and a defense that never lets the Gators score an offensive touchdown.
It worked last year in Gainesville, and it worked again Saturday night as the Seminoles rolled to a 31-13 victory that might not have been as close as the scoreboard shows.
FSU (9-3) has a four-game winning streak over Florida (8-3) for the third time in school history and has won six of its last seven against UF. This group of Seminoles also became the first to sweep both Florida and Miami over a four-year span.
Cook’s third game against the Gators was nearly as good as the first two: He ran for 153 yards and a touchdown Saturday night and raised his three-year total against UF to 480 rushing yards and three scores.
Florida State’s defense, meanwhile, held the Gators’ offense out of the end zone for a second straight year.
Florida’s only touchdown of the night came when it recovered a Nyqwan Murray fumble on a punt return and took it for a score. The Gators’ offense hasn’t scored a touchdown against FSU since the 0:47 mark of the third quarter in 2014 – the year before coach Jim McElwain took over.
Appropriately, FSU held healthy advantages in total yards (387-207), first downs (18-14), third-down conversions (11-17 for FSU, 0-12 for UF) and time of possession (32:01-27:59).
It marked the first time since 1980 that FSU held an opponent without a third-down conversion.
ABOVE VIDEO: Defensive lineman DeMarcus Walker has a very strong relationship with his mother.
Leading 10-6 midway through the third quarter, the Seminoles broke things open when Deondre Francois connected with Travis Rudolph for a 46-yard touchdown on third-and-10.
That marked the first of three-second half touchdowns for the Seminoles. Senior Freddie Stevenson went up the middle for a 27-yarder that made it 27-6, and Francois later scrambled for an 8-yard score that made it 31-13 with a minute to go.
Francois had a mostly quiet night in the passing game, completing just 15 of 26 passes for 138 yards. But he was 8 of 10 for 78 yards and that touchdown in the second half.