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FSU wraps up the regular season with a loss at Florida

Florida linebacker Brenton Cox Jr. (1) puts pressure on Florida State quarterback Jordan...
Florida linebacker Brenton Cox Jr. (1) puts pressure on Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis, right, during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)(John Raoux | AP)
Published: Nov. 27, 2021 at 5:58 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (Noles247) - Florida State entered Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Fla. with a lot on the line against one of their in-state rivals. They left disappointed after coming up short, 24-21, against Florida. FSU finishes the regular season 5-7 overall, while UF improved to 6-6 on the season.

The Gators started hot. They went 75 yards on nine plays on their opening drive of the game and put a touchdown on the board when starting quarterback Emory Jones connected with tight end Kemore Gamble for a 47-yard touchdown pass. Gamble beat FSU safety Jammie Robinson on the touchdown.

After the two teams traded punts, FSU was engineering their first quality drive of the day having crossed midfield. McKenzie Milton entered the game to replace Jordan Travis at quarterback, as Travis had been banged up, and on the first snap Milton saw it sailed over his head for a 16-yard loss on a fumble. FSU would have to punt it back to the Gators two plays later.

The end of the opening quarter saw Milton intercepted by Florida safety Rashad Torrence. On the next snap, Jones was intercepted by Robinson, who returned it 28 yards to midfield, to end the opening quarter.

FSU opened the second quarter with Tate Rodemaker at quarterback. He marked the third signal-caller of the day for the Seminoles. Rodemaker couldn’t engineer anything for FSU in his lone drive.

Travis returned to quarterback duties with 10 minutes left in the second quarter. His first drive back saw him drive the Seminoles 68 yards on seven plays, capping the drive with a 9-yard touchdown run. The game was tied 7-7 at that point.

The Gators looked poised to close the half with points, as a lengthy drive had them down to the FSU 9-yard line with just over 30 seconds remaining in the half. A pass by Jones into the end zone was intercepted by Jarvis Brownlee.

The game was tied 7-7 after a first half that had a lot of bad play by both squads.

The Gators pushed out to a 10-7 lead on a 36-yard field goal by Chris Howard with 11:09 remaining in the third quarter.

Later in the third quarter, a 61-yard punt by Florida punter Jeremy Crawshaw was muffed by FSU punt returner Ontaria Wilson. The Gators recovered at FSU’s 33-yard line. Quarterback Anthony Richardson, who replaced Emory Jones earlier in the third quarter, engineered a 33-yard drive capped by a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Justin Shorter. The Gators led 17-7 late in the third quarter.

FSU’s next drive ended two plays in when Florida cornerback Jason Marshall Jr. intercepted a 1-on-1 ball from Travis, which was intended for Andrew Parchment. That interception was reviewed and upheld.

Following the interception, Florida would put the game away in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter when Dameon Pierce rushed for a 3-yard touchdown run to cap a 10-play, 68-yard drive. The Gators took it to the Seminoles physically on the drive, pushing their total on the scoreboard to 24 points on the afternoon.

The Seminoles scored their second touchdown of the day with 9:46 remaining when running back Treshaun Ward scored from 19 yards out. FSU went 71 yards on seven plays over 2:41 to close the gap to 10 points with just under 10 minutes remaining.

FSU closed the gap to 24-21 with 49 seconds left when Wilson caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Travis to cap a 16-play, 92-yard drive that took 3:06 off the clock.

An on-side kick attempt by FSU failed after the score, as the Seminoles failed to actually kick it for a chance at a recovery.

Florida would kneel and kill the clock, earning the victory.

FSU is now 26-37-2 all-time against Florida, including 12-22-1 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. FSU has lost the last three meetings in the series.

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