Florida St. 21, Florida 7

Devonta Freeman had two short touchdown runs following

turnovers, and Florida State beat rival Florida 21-7 on Saturday

night despite only 95 yards of offense.

The Seminoles (8-4) were inept most of the night, but they took

advantage of John Brantley’s first-half mistakes and later knocked

the senior quarterback out for good.

Florida State sealed its second consecutive win in the

once-revered series when Terrance Parks intercepted a pass by

Jacoby Brissett in the fourth quarter and returned it 29 yards for

a score, which sent many of the 90,798 on hand scrambling for the

exits.

The Gators (6-6) avoided their first shutout since 1988 when

Brissett found Quinton Dunbar for a 6-yard score with 4:16

remaining.

Brantley ended the worst game of his career in the locker room.

He was sandwiched between two defenders as he released a pass late

in the second quarter and sustained an apparent concussion.

He stayed on the ground, slipped off his helmet and eventually

walked off the field with help from trainers. He was seemingly on

the receiving end of helmet-to-helmet contact, which also caused

bleeding to his left cheek.

Brissett replaced Brantley and did little to rally the Gators

(6-6) from a 14-point deficit.

Brantley completed 9 of 15 passes for 104 yards, with three

interceptions. Brissett was 4 of 13 for 27 yards.

EJ Manuel wasn’t much better for Florida State. He was 6 of 13

for 65 yards and was sacked four times on a mostly miserable night

in which the Seminoles managed seven first downs.

Turnovers were the difference.

Brantley was picked off on three of Florida’s first five

possessions. All three were bad throws, prompting some boos and

plenty of speculation that he might get benched in his home

finale.

Brantley telegraphed a long throw across the field, and Greg

Reid stepped in front of Dunbar and intercepted the pass. Freeman

took over from there, but he also got some help.

Florida’s Ronald Powell was flagged for a personal foul on third

down, giving FSU a first-and-goal at the 1. Freeman sneaked across

the line on the next play.

Brantley’s second interception was even more inexcusable, maybe

the worst of his career. He scrambled right and threw a balloon

ball across the field and into triple coverage. Mike Harris plucked

that one out of the air and returned it 89 yards. Florida’s Deonte

Thompson made a touchdown-saving tackle at the 4-yard line, but

Freeman scored three plays later to make it 14-0.

The Gators outgained Florida State 140-39 at halftime.

Florida State receiver Kenny Shaw and Florida defensive end

Lerentee McCray exchanged words as the teams headed into the locker

room at halftime. Shaw got the last laugh, though, as he simply

pointed to the scoreboard.

It’s all that matters in a series that used to be one of the

most respected in college football.

Now, though, it has devolved into a battle for bragging rights

and talk about a mythical state championship. The latest matchup

was the first time since 1988 that neither team was ranked.

And both teams looked the part.

What may have seemed like great defense was really just pathetic

offense.

There were poor passes, blown blocking assignments and strange

play calls. There also were as many punts (18) as first downs.

The oddest play of the night came on a fourth-and-inches play in

the second quarter. With Brantley struggling, the Gators lined up

tight end Trey Burton at quarterback and ran him into Florida

State’s vaunted front. Burton was stuffed, then tried to reverse

field and make something happen. He ended up losing 14 yards.

Both teams also lost key players during the game.

Florida State defensive end Brandon Jenkins left the game with

concussion-like symptoms.

Florida lost Brantley, defensive tackle Dominique Easley,

running back Chris Rainey and guard Jon Halapio. Easley and Rainey

were helped from the field to the locker room.

Possibly more serious, Florida linebacker Darrin Kitchens was

injured on the opening kickoff of the second half. He was strapped

to a backboard and carted to the locker room. There was no

immediate word on any of Florida’s injuries.