Tampa Bay Sports Day

Gators Smacked By FSU Defense in Florida’s Season Finale, 38-22

Photo by Ashley Williams/UF

GAINESVILLE – FSU scored 28 points off turnovers in a 38-22 win over Florida Saturday in Gainesville.

“First of all, I would like to say it is a great honor to be a part of this rivalry. Though the records aren’t what they have been before, Florida State vs. Florida means a lot,” said FSU coach Jimbo Fisher. “I’m very proud of our kids for competing in the game. Our offense played well and our defense played outstanding today creating opportunities for our team to score points. They created turnovers and gave us good field position.”

The Seminoles’ Jacob Pugh’s fumble recovery for a touchdown was his third career fumble recovery. Cornerback Levonta Taylor’s interception on the final play of the first quarter. His second was in the second quarter, an 18-yard interception return for a touchdown. He is the first player since Pugh against Notre Dame in 2014 with two interceptions in a game.

Freshman QB James Blackman completed 10 of 21 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns for Florida State, which can extend the nation’s longest active bowl streak to 35 seasons with a win over Louisiana-Monroe next week.

Nyqwan Murray’s 21-yard touchdown catch made the score 14-7 FSU in the second quarter. Murray has four touchdown catches on the season, including two consecutive games. Freshman Cam Akers scored his first touchdown against the Gators on a 10-yard run in the fourth quarter. He finished with 34 yards on 14 carries.

FSU won for the fifth straight time against Florida and the fourth consecutive time in Gainesville. Both are FSU highs against the Gators. Fisher is 7-1 against UF in his career and 18-2 against schools from the state of Florida.

The Gators extended their NCAA record by scoring in their 372nd consecutive game when senior running back Mark Thompson ran up the middle for a 10-yard score to make it 7-7 in the first quarter. Freshman QB Feleipe Franks threw two TD passes to senior wide receiver Brandon Powell.

Franks was 18 of 39 for 184 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions for the Gators (4-7), who had 280 yards of offense.

It was the first time since 1988 that FSU scored two non-offensive touchdowns in a game against Florida and the first time ever that FSU has scored two defensive touchdowns against the Gators in 62 games.

FSU had scored 24 points off turnovers in the first 10 games of the season

The Seminoles’ Ricky Aguayo improved to 15-of-18 on field goals this year with a 25-yarder in the second quarter. FSU had not attempted a field goal the previous two weeks.

NOTEWORTHY:  Florida rushed for 60 yards in the first quarter versus the FSU defense. The Gators totaled 23 yards the rest of the day….Eddy Pineiro converted on a 45-yard field goal in the third quarter, bringing his made field goal streak to 16 straight…Florida’s run of 12 consecutive years with a punt or kick return touchdown came to a close on Saturday. The 12 year streak was tied Kansas State for the longest stretch in the NCAA…It was the first time since 1959 and the second occurrence in series history that the teams entered the game under .500.