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Florida 40, Florida State 17

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Kyle Trask threw three first-half touchdown passes, including two to Freddie Swain, and No. 8 Florida hammered rival Florida State 40-17 to end a four-game, home losing streak in the series.

The Gators (10-2, No. 11 CFP) locked up consecutive 10-win seasons for the first time in a decade, finished unbeaten at home for the first time in four years and celebrated their first winning streak against the Seminoles since 2009.

Florida scored touchdowns on four of its first five possessions, needing two fourth-down conversions to get the first two, and was able to start celebrating before halftime. Receiver Kadarius Toney taunted FSU players by posing and pointing at a scoreboard as they left the field at halftime.

The pass-happy, one-dimensional Gators picked apart FSU's beleaguered defense, a scene rarely seen in a game that typically features stout defenses. Trask completed 30 of 41 passes for 343 yards, including two short ones to Swain that went for scores.

Swain caught a screen pass, waited for a block, split two defenders and sprinted 19 yards to cap the opening drive. He made it 20-7 in the second quarter when he broke a tackle near the sideline, outran one defender and bowled through another at the goal line.

Swain watched the second half from the sideline in street clothes because of a leg injury. He finished with five receptions for 62 yards.

Fellow senior Van Jefferson also had two TD catches, one from Trask and another from backup Emory Jones.

The sold-out Swamp was rocking most of the night and the home crowd got something it hadn't seen since Tim Tebow's senior season in 2009 - a victory over FSU in Gainesville. The Gators had lost four in a row at home in the series - and by a combined 85 points.

The stadium was packed until Evan McPherson's field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter. That made it 40-17 and sent thousands scrambling for the exits.

No one expected the Seminoles (6-6) to keep it close. Oddsmakers had them as 17 1/2-point underdogs.

Longtime assistant and interim head coach Odell Haggins had hoped to strengthen his case to replace fired coach Willie Taggart. But the Seminoles showed some of the same issues that plagued Taggart's tenure.

FSU was flagged for being offside after stopping a fourth-down run and was later penalized for illegal formation before the Seminoles recovered a muffed punt. The Gators scored after both miscues.

The 'Noles had a few highlights, but one stood out.

James Blackman threw a backward pass to receiver D.J. Matthews, who ran across the field, eluded two defenders, slipped out of an ankle tackle and then flipped an underhanded pass to Tamorrion Terry for a 25-yard gain that set up a field goal.

Associated Press


November 30, 2019

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