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Gator Grades: Shellacked

GAINESVILLE -- No. 2 Florida State (predictably) smoked Florida 37-7, mercifully ending the Gators’ brutal season (seven straight losses and no bowl game). With a roaring ‘War Chant’, the Seminoles took over The Swamp en route to their 12th win -- and now just one victory away from Pasadena. Saturday’s rapid reaction grades on UF’s abysmal performance.


Florida tallied under 200 yards for just the second time this season. The Gators nearly had as many drives of four plays or less (6) then first downs (8). Trey Burton’s shoulder injury hurt -- limiting UF’s Wild-Gator attack -- but considering Saturday was Florida’s “bowl game,” there were no additional wrinkles. It was hardly a kitchen-sink game plan. UF was just 1-of-11 on third down. Yikes.


Last week, the Gators didn’t allow a single completion. On Saturday, Jameis Winston -- sublime all afternoon -- shredded Florida for 327 yards and three scores. Wideout Kelvin Benjamin (219 yards, three touchdowns) was unstoppable. Florida actually played inspired, spirited defense to start the game (two sacks, an interception, lone field) before FSU’s 96-yard touchdown drive jumpstarted the blowout. UF also wore down up front, as FSU rushed for 153 yards -- 142 after halftime. The Seminoles gashed the Gators on third down, converting 9-of-15.


Another missed field goal (DRINK), but the coverage units were again solid. Freshman punter Johnny Townsend pinned a 46-yard kick at the 4-yard line, while Solomon Patton had another long kickoff return.

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