TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Make it a perfect 12-0 for a second straight season.
Florida State withstood five turnovers and a sloppy first quarter to beat Florida, 24-19, in front of 82,485 at Doak Campbell Stadium.
FSU quarterback Jameis Winston shook off a career-high in interceptions (four) and a career-low in passing yardage (125) by throwing two touchdowns to tight end Nick O’Leary.
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And freshman running back Dalvin Cook had the best game of his career with 24 yards on 144 carries.
Florida State’s early miscues opened the door for a Gators upset. But UF (6-5) couldn’t capitalize on three first-quarter interceptions and built only a 9-0 lead.
Winston’s third interception had given Florida the ball at FSU’s 9-yard line, when quarterback Treon Harris’ pass bounced off of receiver Tevin Westbrook and into the hands of linebacker Terrance Smith.
Smith and a host of blockers returned it 94 yards for a touchdown that made it 9-7.
Smith’s interception sparked a 21-0 FSU run that appeared to have the Gators reeling.
But UF blocked a punt with 53 second to play in the second quarter and immediately capitalized with a touchdown pass from Harris to Clay Burton.
Florida kicker Austin Hardin made four field goals, including a 32-yarder that made it 21-19 early in the third quarter. Hardin, though, also missed a pair of second-half attempts that would’ve given the Gators a one-point lead.
FSU’s Roberto Aguayo made his only field goal attempt of the night, a 37-yarder that provided the final margin.