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
The Gators (6-6) avoided their first shutout since 1988 when
Brissett found Quinton Dunbar for a 6-yard score with 4:16
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
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
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
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.