The offense was great, and the defense was dominant. Tebow was tough, Hernandez stepped up, and Janoris Jenkins was hell on wheels. Even when FSU got a meaningless touchdown, the Gators blocked the extra point.
This was the kind of game I wasn’t sure could happen in Tallahassee. There is something about that place that has kept Florida from playing well throughout my lifetime and beyond. FSU even came into the game tops in the country in tackles for loss, one spot above Ole Miss, and there were plenty of distractions. You had the lingering Cam Newton situation, the Pounceys’ father being involved in a horrible accident, and other things.
However, stat gurus generally agree that home field advantage is worth about 3 points, and that was exactly the difference between last season’s 45-12 Gator win and this year’s 45-15 win. It was a thorough domination, and there’s no other way to put it.
The kickoff coverage, which had been shaky against the Citadel, was atrocious. Yes, Michael Ray Garvin leads the country in kickoff returns, but there was no excuse for giving FSU that good of field position all game.
Even so, it didn’t end up mattering. This was Florida’s night from the beginning, and now the Gators have won five straight over the Semis. Not a single player on that field in garnet and gold has ever beaten UF, and none of the seniors ever will.
Now, it is time for the SEC Championship Game. Alabama will not roll over in the second half as FSU did. It is good to celebrate this big win, but big things still wait ahead.