Florida Gators Blow Out Florida State 41-14, Snaps Seminoles 36-Year Bowl Game Appearance Streak
By Scott Carter, Florida Gators // November 24, 2018
ABOVE VIDEO: Florida vs. Florida State Football Highlights
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – The Gators used explosive plays on offense, crucial Florida State penalties and a mostly lockdown defensive performance to defeat the Seminoles 41-14 on Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium.
Lamical Perine (13 rushes, 129 yards) broke off a career-long 74-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, Feleipe Franks threw a trio of second-half touchdown passes to Trevon Grimes, Josh Hammond and Van Jefferson.
Defensive end Jachai Polite and the rest of the Gators’ pass rush combined for five sacks and harassed Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois into a lost fumble and two interceptions. Florida State committed 10 penalties for 60 yards, including eight for 50 yards in the first half. Florida had four red-zone drives in the opening half but managed only six points. In the second half, they executed and blew the game open.
WHAT IT MEANS: The win snapped Florida’s school-record five-game losing streak in the series and ended FSU’s nation-best 36-year bowl streak. The Gators are now all but a lock to receive a bid to play in a New Year’s Six bowl game. Perhaps most importantly, Florida fans have bragging rights for the next year, and the victory can only help coach Dan Mullen on the recruiting trail.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Polite showed why he is a projected first-round NFL draft pick against the Seminoles struggling offensive line. He recorded 2.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss and simply couldn’t be blocked by FSU. His strip sack in the third quarter was recovered by Cece Jefferson. Franks threw a 22-yard score to Grimes on the next play, and Florida State never came close the rest of the way.
STAGGERING STATISTIC: 536. The Gators’ oft-criticized offense amassed more than 500 yards of total offense for the third consecutive week. The first two, however, came against South Carolina and Idaho, whose defenses have struggled all year. This one came against their in-state rivals and marked the first time the Gators have gone for 500 yards or more in three consecutive games since 2008, Mullen’s final season as offensive coordinator.
UP NEXT: The Gators wait to find out their bowl assignment on Dec. 2. Some predictions have them playing UCF in the Peach Bowl, while other gave them in the Fiesta Bowl versus a Big 12 opponent. As for FSU, it’s home for the holidays for the first time in nearly four decades.
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