In an ugly battle of top defenses, underwhelming offenses and excellent special teams, the Florida State Seminoles were better in every phase, winning 21-7 over the Florida Gators in the Swamp. FSU built a 14-0 lead, as the defense harassed UF's Jon Brantley into three interceptions. The FSU offense did even less than it was expected to do with all of its injury trouble, but it avoided turnovers for the first 50 minutes. Winning a game with barely more than two yards/play is tough, but not impossible with a defense and special teams as good as FSU's. That combination of turnover free football, dominant defense and excellent special teams caused UF to start inside its own 25 on its first 9 drives. In contrast, FSU started outside its own 35 five times to open the game. That enormous margin in field position was easily enough to tip the game in FSU's favor.
FSU was the more physical team by an enormous margin, knocking out three UF players and amassing an astounding 18 defensive plays for a turnover or loss. Both of these teams have similar profiles. The winner played to its strengths and played with more physicality. FSU is now undefeated against rivals under Jimbo Fisher, winning the four games by a 120-50 margin.
Florida State still has a lot of issues, both injury and otherwise, but FSU fans will sleep a lot better repeating as state champs.