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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.
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.