The keys to this game was always the two quarterbacks leading these offenses. Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis versus Florida’s Anthony Richardson. Two quarterbacks that can return in 2023 to set up a potential CFB Playoff play in rematch next season.
Like we expected, Jordan Travis and Anthony Richardson put on a show that led to the 45-38 finish.
Travis was a monster for the Seminoles all game. Travis put up 353 yards of total offense and 3 touchdowns; one on threw the air and another two on the ground. Many of the plays made by Travis were from broken plays where he used his legs.
On the other hand, Richardson threw for 198 yards and 3 touchdowns but he was very inconsistent coming out of halftime. Richardson finished with 33% completion. Not great for a guy looking to go to the NFL. However, Richardson did rush for 41 yards.
Although Travis played well, Trey Benson was a beast on the ground as well. Trey Benson rushed for 111 yards 3 touchdowns on 20 carries. Benson is a sophomore that transferred from Oregon and has been a huge play maker for the Noles.
Benson was physical and fast at the same time. His ability and skill reminded us all of what it was like to see Dalvin Cook in the backfield for Florida State.
Furthermore, Florida State continued to exploit the Florida defense with Johnny Wilson at times. Wilson is 6’7 and a target that forced Florida to focus on him more times than not.
Early on, Florida’s game plan seemed to have been working. The Gators got an early turnover against Florida State that turned into points very quickly.
Florida receiver Ricky Pearsall earned great respect in this game. Not only did he score the first touchdown for the Gators but he also had 5 receptions for 148 yards and 2 touchdowns.
At halftime, Florida led 24-21 with the momentum, but it would be abysmal third quarter that would hurt the Gators. Florida State scored 17 unanswered points in the third that had them leading 38-24 going into the 4th.
Freshman running back Travis Etienne made his name known with solid runs all game. Etienne rushed for 129 yards and 1 touchdown on 17 carries. His lone score tied the game up at 38.
Unfortunately, Florida State would use Trey Benson once more to go up 45-38 on two solid strong runs by the transfer. The Gators would have multiple opportunities to score on their last drive, but they came up short with 31 seconds left on forth down.
In the highest scoring game in the series history, Florida State ends a 3-game losing streak to the Gators.
What does this game mean?
For Florida State, this game proves that Mike Norvell and the Seminoles are on the right track back to the top of college football. This win also means that Florida State has a chance to win 10 games for the first time since 2016 when they beat Michigan in the Orange bowl.
Additionally, this win and the atmosphere at Doak Campbell Stadium is a huge recruiting boost. Heading into the offseason, Florida State should feel confident recruiting against anyone in the country.
Florida State may not be all the way back, but after beat two SEC teams in the same year and both instate rivals, the Seminoles future looks bright.
As for Florida, this game also gives hope to the future. Once again, Anthony Anthony Richardson needs to return next year to improve on his development as a passer. More importantly, head coach Billy Napier has Florida moving into a direction that looks promising.
As much as we love the other SEC East teams, we all know that it will be Florida that dethrones Georgia at some point.