Jacksonville Sports Day

Bonts: Undisciplined Seminoles Can’t Contain Gators, 41-14

Gators receiver Trevon Grimes does a Gator Chomp during Saturday's game in Tallahassee. (Photo: Tim Casey/UAA Communications)

TALLAHASSEE –– Florida snapped a five game losing streak to Florida State Saturday with a 41-14 win before a Senior Day crowd of 71,953 at Doak Campbell Stadium.

FSU’s mistakes played a big part in the loss.

A costly illegal shift negated a 70-yard touchdown from QB Deondre Francois to running back Cam Akers.

“We knew they were the most undisciplined team in America, so we were just going to take advantage of every little opportunity we had,” UF junior nickelback Chauncey Gardner-Johnson said. “That’s what we did.”

Added FSU coach Willie Taggart: “That’s a big part of our problem is when things don’t go our way, then we didn’t respond the right way.”

Trailing 13-7, the ‘Noles looked like they held the Gators to a field goal try, but an unsportsmanlike call against them led to a first down and eventually Josh Hammond’s three -yard TD reception for Florida.

The loss erased any hope for FSU (5-7) returning to play a post season bowl. FSU had appeared in bowl games for 36 consecutive years, the longest stretch in NCAA history.

The Seminoles also ended a streak of 41 consecutive winning seasons, one shy of Notre Dame’s record

Gators QB Feleipe Franks threw for 254 yards and  three TDs.  He rushed for 90 yards.

Florida (9-3) ran the ball effectively against the FSU defensive front. The Gators rushed for 282 yards. Lamical Perine dashed for 74 yards for a score early in the second quarter, part of his 131 yard day. Jordan Scarlett add an nine yard TD in the final four minutes if the game. Scarlett finished with 90 yards on the ground.

Evan McPherson kicked field goals of 27 and 23 yards.

Defensively for the Gators, Vosean Joseph led the team with eight tackles. David Reese II added six tackled while Jeawon Taylor and Kyree Campbell each had five.

Jachai Polite had six tackles and a forced fumble.  He entered the game tied for third in the FBS in forced fumbles. He became the eighth Gator in history to log five forced fumbles in a season.  Polite’s 2.5 sacks against FSU gives him 11 sacks, tying for the fifth-highest single-season total in school history.

Francois threw for 154 yards with one interception and a fumble. He was sacked five times.

Akers’ one-handed 15-yard TD catch from Francois looked like all the scoring the Seminoles were going to muster. But the the Seminoles found the end zone in third quarter on Francois’ four-yard run.

Defensively, FSU freshman Jaiden Woodbey recorded his first career sack in the third quarter and was his ninth tackle of the game, on his way to a career-high 11 tackles. Woodbey finished with 1.5 tackles for loss and a QB hurry. Hamsah Nasirildeen added 10 stops for the Noles, pushing his season total to a team-leading 91. Leonard Warner III registered a career-high 9 tackles, while Marvin Wilson matched his career-high with 7.

GAME NOTES: The Gators last win came in Tallahassee in 2012…Florida had 41 first downs to FSU’s 14….senior running Jacques Patrick led the Noles with 52 rushing yards on 10 carries and will close his career with 1,790 yards, which moved him past Dexter Carter for No. 16 on FSU’s all-time list…UF’s 27-point margin of victory is their largest win in the series since 2009, when it won 37-10 in The Swamp.

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