After clinching the SEC East with a dramatic goal line stand at LSU, the Florida Gators’ end of season gauntlet continues this weekend with a trip to Tallahassee to take on in-state rival Florida State. The annual Sunshine Showdown is scheduled for an 8:00 p.m. kick-off at Doak Campbell Stadium with coverage of the game airing nationally on ABC. The Baltimore Gator Club will host its weekly Watch Party for the rivalry game at The Greene Turtle – McHenry Row, so come on out in your best Orange and Blue to celebrate the Thanksgiving weekend with your Gator family as UF takes on FSU.
Florida (8-2, 6-2 SEC) locked up its second straight SEC East division title by stopping LSU on a last-play fourth-and-one at the goal line for 16-10 road win in Baton Rouge. The Gators came back from an early 7-0 deficit thanks to three Eddy Pineiro field goals and a 98-yard pass from Austin Appleby to Tyrie Cleveland to earn their first win in Death Valley since 2009.
Appleby wasn’t asked to do too much for the Gators, but his completion to Cleveland changed the game for the visitors. Jordan Scarlett did some heavy lifting for UF, carrying the ball 22 times for 109 yards. The Gator defense held the two-headed monster of Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice to 123 yards and one score despite 31 carries.
Florida State (8-3, 5-3 ACC) rolled over Syracuse on the road, 45-14, for its second straight victory. Running back Dalvin Cook made FSU history in the victory, rushing for 225 yards to bring his career total up to 3,987 yards, eclipsing the previous school mark of 3,959 set by Warrick Dunn. Freshman quarterback Deondre Francois also had a big day for the Seminoles, throwing for 315 yards and two touchdowns.
The Gators and Seminoles have met 60 times on the gridiron with UF holding a 34-24-2 advantage in the all-time series. Despite the schools splitting each of the last ten games, Florida State has won the last four encounters with the Gators with UF last claiming a victory in 2012.