This game may not seem like a big game at face value. But when put into context, it was one of Florida’s biggest games this year. Last year, the Gators beat the Florida State Seminoles for the first time since 2012. This year, the Gators win at home during rivalry week for the first time since Tim Tebow’s senior season. A decade and two days passed, but the drought is finally over as the Gators beat the Seminoles 40-17.
The Gators also finish with 10 regular-season wins for the first time since 2015, and are Florida Cup winners for the first time since 2008.
Florida will also finish undefeated at home this season (6-0).
The Quarter That Sealed the Deal
After the first quarter, it seemed like the Gators had a competitive game after all. Florida opened scoring with a 19-yard touchdown pass by Kyle Trask to Freddie Swain, putting the Gators up 7-0. Minutes later, Florida State responded when quarterback Jordan Travis carried the ball himself for a one-yard touchdown run. The first quarter would end with the game tied 7-7.
Come the second quarter, the Gators chomped the chop and blew it open. Dameon Pierce’s one-yard touchdown run makes it 13-7 (Evan McPherson missed the PAT). Trask connects with Swain for the second time for a 23-yard touchdown pass to make it 20-7. Trask would pick up his third and final touchdown pass of the game when Van Jefferson caught his 13-yard pass to make it 27-7 for Florida.
McPherson would make up for the missed PAT by nailing a 50-yard field goal to make it 30-7 Florida at the half.
Both Florida and Florida State would put up 10 points in the second half, but the 23-point gap would stand as the Gators would take home a home victory 40-17.
Trask attributed the Gators success to being dialed in while preparing for the game:
The Gators have put themselves in a good position with a 10-2 finish to the regular season. They also had help in their hunt for a New Year’s Six bowl through a few upsets. The No. 15 Auburn Tigers won their shootout against the No. 5 Alabama Crimson Tide 48-45. Florida and Alabama will both finish the season 10-2. The only difference? Florida beat Auburn.
Florida head coach Dan Mullen Feels the Gators have done everything they can to separate themselves from their opponents:
No. 12 Wisconsin upset No. 8 Minnesota to clinch a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game. Minnesota will likely fall out of the top ten following the loss.
While much is left up in the air with the conference championship games left to play, Florida is in a good spot, and they come off a win that will be fresh in the committee’s heads when the next poll is released on Tuesday.