After writing all season that Florida State had the best defensive front in the state, the first 30 minutes of this football game have seriously thrown that assertion into question.
There was domination in the first half of this game, it came from the Florida defensive front and it kept the Seminole offense from achieving much of anything outside of a long completion to Rashad Greene on the opening drive.
Right now FSU has just 109 total yards and they haven't seriously threatened since their opening possession.
The Gators came out and scored on a couple of field goal drives to open things up, they held the ball around five minutes both times and methodically drove down the field against the vaunted Seminole defensive front. You can tell UF is game-tested because they know how to attack a defense like Florida State's. Plays don't take too long to develop, they use a lot of misdirection and they take just enough yardage per play to keep the 'Noles on their heels. FSU's defense needs to wrap up better, but give UF a lot of credit for knowing how to attack.
UF could have gone up 9-0 early but a 4th down play inside Florida State territory turned the ball over and kept them off the scoreboard on their second possession. All in all, the Gators have called an efficient first half on offense and they've got the lead to show for it.
Conversely, FSU hasn't called a good game in the first half. On the opening drive everything took too long to set up and EJ Manuel was pressured on every snap. That drive was arguably the 'Noles best scoring shot though as they took the ball into UF territory before an EJ Manuel pick ended the possession.
The wheels fell off in the last 6 minutes though. Karlos Williams fumbled a kickoff after running it out of his own endzone and the Gators scored a touchdown several plays later. Then EJ Manuel threw a particularly inexcusable ball that was picked off on the next drive and set the Gators up inside Seminole territory once again.
Florida State's defense FINALLY stood up at that point. A couple penalties and a big sack put the Gators back out of field goal range and the Seminoles were able to avoid going down by 16 or 20.
A late Dustin Hopkins field goal made it a ten point game, but the Seminoles didn't really take much momentum with them into the tunnel.
Right now Florida State needs to regroup and come out with some fire in the second half or they're not going to have a chance to get back into this. For Florida, the name of the game in the second half will be ball control and letting their defense dictate the tempo of the game like it did in the first half.
FSU has its work cut out for it in the second half...
Passing: Jeff Driskel (10-15, 77)
Rushing: Mike Gilleslee (18-75, TD)
Receiving: Rashad Greene (2-34)