2 KEY PLAYERS
EJ Manuel and the FSU offense had a hard time finding any rhythm against Florida's defense.
He’s one of the Gators that FSU fans share a particularly strong dislike for after his circus of a recruitment several years ago. But tonight, Elam had the last laugh, as he played lights out and arguably led his team to its first victory over the Seminoles since 2009. Elam made his presence felt in nearly every way possible, as he finished with seven tackles, one tackle-for-loss and one interception.
If there was a bright spot for the Seminoles, it was the consistency of Dustin Hopkins. The senior made both of his field goal attempts, each from beyond 50 yards, to keep the Seminoles in the hunt at various points in the game. He also tied the all-time record for field goals made in a career, as he now stands with a total of 87.
4 KEY PLAYS
Manuel picked off by Elam
After Florida put up a quick three points on the board, it looked like EJ Manuel and the FSU offense were going to at least do the same in their opening drive. However, Manuel tossed a costly interception to Matt Elam and instead of the Seminoles putting points in the board, it was the Gators who scored an additional three on the following drive.
Karlos Williams fumbles kickoff return
Already down 6-0, the Seminoles were searching for any source of momentum they could get their hands on. Instead, Karlos Williams wound up giving the Gators even more momentum, fumbling a kickoff return at the FSU 21-yard line. Florida’s offense capitalized on the opportunity and scored its first touchdown of the evening to put the Gators ahead 13-0.
Bjoern Werner recovers fumble
For a brief moment in the third quarter, it looked as though FSU could have pulled it off after a defensive surge led by none other than Bjoern Werner. Werner, who had three and a half sacks on the evening, recovered a fumble that was the result of a miscommunication between Florida’s Jeff Driskel and Mike Gillislee. The Seminole offense would put it in for six on the following drive, giving FSU its first lead of the night.
Manuel fumbles and leaves game
There’s little doubt that the turning point in the game came in the fourth quarter. Manuel was hit hard by Florida’s Antonio Morrison and ultimately fumbled, allowing the Gators to recover and set themselves up for the beginning of what would be a comeback that put Florida over the top. Manuel also left the game for an offensive series, and it seemed as though the momentum inside Doak Campbell Stadium also left with him.
7 QUICK HITTERS
Rivals Streak Snapped
Entering today's game against the Gators, Florida State held a combined five-game win streak against state rivals Florida and Miami that was snapped in a 37-26 loss to Florida. The streak of five consecutive games won against both teams was tied for the longest in program history with the 1977, 78' and 79' teams that defeated Florida three times and Miami twice.
Noles Lose First Top 10 Matchup with Gators at Home
Florida State entered today's contest with the Gators holding a 5-0-1 record in Top 10 matchups between the two rivals at Doak Campbell Stadium, thus making today’s loss to Florida the first of its kind in program history.
Racking Up The Sacks
Junior Bjoern Werner recorded the first sack of the game when he dropped Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel for a nine-yard loss on the Gator's second drive of the contest in the first quarter. He added his second of the game late in the second quarter when he sacked Driskel for a 10-yard loss. Werner registered 1.5 sacks in the second half, while Tank Carradine also registered a half sack. Werner now has 13.0 sacks on the year and Carradine has 11.0 sacks.
Carradine Ties Career High For Tackles
Tank Carradine led the Seminoles with 11 tackles on Saturday marking the fourth time that he has led the team in tackles this year. Carradine's 11 tackles tied a career high set earlier this year at Virginia Tech.
O'Leary Scores TD In Back-To-Back Games
Nick O'Leary was on the receiving end of Florida State's first touchdown of the game as the sophomore tight end made a tremendous leaping catch for a six-yard TD catch on third down and goal. O'Leary now has touchdown catches in back-to-back games as he scored on a 10-yard pass from EJ Manuel in the first quarter against Maryland.
Hopkins Moves Up the Charts
Dustin Hopkins connected on two PATs and his second 50-yard FG of the game in the third quarter moving the senior kicker into sole possession of third place on the all-time NCAA FBS all-player scoring record with 456 points. His 53-yard FG in the third quarter tied Hopkins with Georgia's Billy Bennett for the all-time national field goals made record at 87.
Manuel Ties Career-High
FSU quarterback EJ Manuel tied a career-high on Saturday throwing three interceptions against Florida. It marked his second career three INT game with his first coming against Maryland in 2009.