The Florida State Seminoles (6-5, 4-4 ACC) fell to the Florida Gators (9-2, 6-2 SEC) in the Swamp for the first time since 2009 by a final score of, 40-17. While Florida was heavily favored (-17.5) in tonight’s contest, the evening was especially frustrating due to the ’Noles lack of discipline, mental mistakes, missed opportunities and inability to tackle.
The Gators took an early lead and scored on their first possession. It was a 11-play 75-yard long drive that allowed Florida QB Kyle Trask to convert on 4th-and-one before connecting with Freddie Swain for a 19-yard touchdown reception on the very next play.
Florida State answered with a 75-yard scoring drive on its own that featured a 45-yard pass to Tamorrion Terry that put the Seminoles in the red zone, a fourth-down conversion on the five-yard line, and a one-yard touchdown run by Jordan Travis that tied things up.
Florida State’s defense continued to make its life harder by committing stupid penalties as Hamsah Nasirildeen gifted the Gators 15 yards thanks to a personal foul. A couple plays later, the Seminoles appeared to stuff Florida on 4th-and-one, but instead an offside penalty gave Florida five yards and a new set of downs. Seconds later, Florida scored on third-and-goal, but missed its extra point. At this point in the game, the Gators were only averaging 2.9 yards per rush.
The Seminoles missed an opportunity to tie the game after James Blackman and Tamorrion Terry failed to connect on what should have been a wide open touchdown subsequently forcing a quick three-and-out.
The Gators exposed Florida State’s defense and secondary struggles after a three-play touchdown drive that featured a 47-yard catch and ended with a 23-yard touchdown reception. The Seminoles’ already depleted defense suffered another devastating blow when DB Hamsah Nasirildeen was carted off the field with an apparent leg injury. Earlier in the evening, Nasirildeen surpassed 100 tackles on the season.
For the Seminoles’ second straight drive, a quick three-and-out ended after Blackman missed another wide open shot to Terry.
The Florida State defense finally forced its first three-and-out of the game, but the Seminoles continued to hinder themselves with their lack of discipline. The offense’s three-play drive ended thanks to a delay of game penalty. Despite the odds appearing to shift in the ’Noles favor after Florida State recovered a muffed punt, it was quickly negated thanks to a questionable illegal formation penalty that ended any chance the Seminoles had at shifting the momentum.
More missed tackles, and more penalties (a 15-yard face mask by Asante Samuel) later allowed the Gators to score on third-and-10 pushing them ahead 27-7. The Gators finished the first half by scoring a 50-yard field goal.
Florida finished with 12 TFL (8 sacks) for 65 yds and went, 10-19 on 3rd/4th down. UF averaged 8.9 yards per play on 3rd down as FSU’s defense couldn’t get off the field throughout the night. UF was 3/6 on 3rd and long situations while FSU was 0/4. FSU finished with 10 more penalties than UF on the night.
Goodbyes are always difficult and saying goodbye to RB Cam Akers won’t be any easier. Akers bounced back after last year’s disappointing season to finish a season that everyone (including himself) should be proud of. Tonight was no different and Akers continued to do what he’s done all season giving it his all even when his teammates efforts didn’t mirror his own. After a frustrating first-half for the Mississippi-native (eight rushes for 22 yards), Akers left his heart on the field finishing with nine rushes for 80 yards and a 50-yard TD in the second half. While, we will miss seeing Akers in garnet and gold, we will see his hard work on Sunday’s shortly.
Tamorrion Terry became the first FSU wide receiver to eclipse 1,000 yards receiving since Rashad Greene in 2014 with seven catches and 131 yards on the night. Terry and Akers combined for 235 total yards on the night. Florida State as a whole had 250 net yards on the night.
In cased you missed it during the football game, FSU hoops continued a seven-game win streak with a clutch OT win over Purdue.