By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
November 24, 2018
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Florida State Seminoles saw their five-game winning streak against Florida and their 36-year bowl streak come to an end on Saturday in a 41-14 loss to the Gators in front of 71,953 fans at Doak Campbell Stadium.
After a sloppy opening quarter, in which only three points were mustered in total off a chip-shot field goal by Florida on the final play of the frame, the Gators scored the game's first touchdown in the opening two minutes of the second quarter on a 74-yard touchdown rush by Lamical Perine to give UF a 10-0 lead.
On the next drive, it looked like Florida State had scored a long touchdown after Deondre Francois found Cam Akers, who had slipped past a couple of defenders in the third level of the Gators defense, and won the track meet to the end zone, but an illegal shift called the score back and the Noles stalled out from there.
The Gators drove into the FSU red zone on the next possession, but were held to a field goal to make it 13-0.
As has been the case so many times this year, Willie Taggart's Gulf Coast Offense reared its head later than the FSU faithful would have liked to see, but it turned into a smooth eight-play, 75-yard touchdown drive thanks in part to a lethal air attack, as Francois hit three separate receivers for pickups of 14, 25 and 15 yards, the latter-most of which resulted in a 15-yard touchdown reception for Akers to pull the Noles within 13-7.
After taking the six-point lead into the locker room, Florida opened the second half with a long 12 play drive, capped off by a three-yard Josh Hammond touchdown reception to take a 20-7 lead.
On the next series, the Gators defense stripped Francois has he was preparing to throw the ball and one play later, Felepie Franks found Trevon Grimes for a 22-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 27-7.
Francois took things into his own hands on the next possession, single-handedly accounting for the final 34 yards of a 75-yard scoring drive after stepping up into the pocket and picking up 32 yards on a scramble and capping off the drive with a two-yard rush, pulling FSU within 27-14.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Franks connected with Van Jefferson on a 38-yard touchdown pass to make for a 34-14 game.
The Gators added a garbage-time touchdown to seal the deal in their 41-14 victory.
FSU's defense had no answer for Franks and the Gators offense, as the Gators totaled 536 yards in total with a fairly balanced attack - 254 yards came through the air (Franks completed 16 of his 26 passes for three touchdowns) and 282 came on the ground.
The Noles, on the other hand, mustered 293 yards of total offense, 154 of which came via the air as Francois completed 14 of his 29 attempts for a touchdown and two interceptions.
Early penalties hurt the Noles and they never really let up, as FSU committed 10 offenses for 60 yards. FSU converted just once on third down, going 1-for-14.
Perine led all rushers with 129 yards on the ground and Grimes led all receivers with 118 yards on five catches.
Jacques Patrick led the FSU rushing attack, totaling 52 yards on 10 touches, and Tamorrion Terry led all Noles receivers, catching 78 balls on just three receptions.