Instant Analysis: Florida finds a way to lose another

Florida 15 - No. 5 Florida State 24

by Joseph Torviso
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The battle of the backup quarterbacks had a lot at stake. A bowl game was on the line for one side, the College Football Playoffs on the line for the other. Even though the Gator defense had a phenomenal game, especially early on, the Gators fell short on senior night losing 24-15.

Inside the Gators’ Instant Analysis takes a quick look at how the game unfolded.

IT WAS OVER WHEN: FSU converted on 3rd and 14 from their 42 yard-line.

After Jason Marshall Jr. sacked Rodemaker, the Seminoles had an important third and long with 3:57 left on the clock. The Junior rolled out of the pocket to his right and looked for an open receiver. With no one open, he tucked the football in and ran. He slid on the Florida 48, but was hit in the head after giving himself up. Jaydon Hill was ejected from the game and FSU was awarded the first down. The Seminoles would drive up the field that drive and score a 26-yard rushing touchdown to win the game.

THEY STOLE THE SHOW: The Florida run game. With Max Brown under center, the Gators understandably ran a run-heavy offense. Brown shocked fans with his elusiveness last week in their close loss versus No. 11 Missouri. Napier and the Gators stuck to what worked and ran the ball. Over 65% of Florida’s offense was run plays. Florida’s running backs alone rushed for 150 yards and the Gators only touchdown in 28 attempts.

THESE STATS DON’T LIE:  Trey Smack missed two of his first three field goals tonight making him 17/21 for the season. After benching Adam Mihalek three games into the season, it was believed Smack was going to be the solution. Although he missed a field goal versus South Carolina, his downfall seemed to begin against Arkansas. With the chance to win the game, he missed a 44-yard attempt which led to the Gators losing in overtime. Tonight, Smack went 2-of-4 missing from 48 & 52 yards. These misses killed the Gators’ offensive momentum, which helped lead to the loss.

THIS MATCHUP PROVED KEY: FSU defensive backs against Ricky Pearsall.

Florida’s best receiver was held to just a single catch for 17 yards. The run-heavy Gator offense threw the football at times against the Seminoles. Brown’s main targets were Tre Wilson and Trevor Etienne with three catches each. After not catching the ball during the first half, Pearsall was vividly upset throughout the second half when his offense didn’t target him.

WHAT A PLAY: Tate Rodemaker was sacked in the endzone for a safety late in the second quarter. On a 3rd & 7 play from the FSU 9 yard-line, by Princely Umanmielen.

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