The Florida Gators had a massive opportunity to ruin their rivals' season on Saturday. They were able to hang tough early against the Florida State Seminoles, but their spoiler bid went to pot as the superior team pulled away in a 37-7 laugher that was effectively over by halftime.
The Florida State offense sputtered out of the gate. Their first series ended with a Loucheiz Purifoy interception, and the only points scored in the first quarter came off a 49-yard field goal from Roberto Aguayo. Things began to pick up later in the second quarter, though, as Jameis Winston hit Kelvin Benjamin for a pair of touchdowns in the final 4:24 of the first half. With the score 17-0 at the break and the Florida offense still non-existent, the second half seemed like it would be a mere formality. It was.
The Florida defense, which tried heroically to keep the Gators in the game, ran out of gas in the second half. The offense was not able to stay on the field long enough to give them time to rest, and injuries had them thin already. Florida State was able to put up 10 points in the first half of the third quarter to make it 27-0, and the rest of the game was an exercise in killing clock.
The Gators were able to score, however. Skyler Mornhinweg, playing in relief for the injured Tyler Murphy for the second straight week, hit Hunter Joyer for their only touchdown of the day. Sure, Florida State scored another 10 points after that, including a third touchdown pass from Winston to Benjamin, but the Gators still scored!
Box Score Hero:
Kelvin Benjamin was ridiculous for the Seminoles, routinely bouncing multiple Florida defenders off him en route to the end zone. He racked up 212 receiving yards and three touchdowns on nine receptions, and was FSU's best weapon all afternoon. Jameis Winston wasn't amazing (19-31 for 327 yards, three touchdowns and an interception), but he played well enough.
The win keeps Florida State, second in the BCS standings, on track for the BCS Championship Game. All it needs to do is win the ACC title game to book its ticket.
But Did They Cover?
The Seminoles were 28-point favorites at kickoff, so they covered the spread.
For More On This Game:
For more on the Seminoles, head over to Tomahawk Nation.
For more on the Gators, check out Alligator Army.
Next Week's Schedule:
Florida State: ACC championship game
Florida: Season's over, and not a moment too soon, either.