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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Make it 10 wins, a new school record for victories in a four-year span and – most importantly – another win over the Florida Gators.
Florida State’s defense stifled the UF offense, Roberto Aguayo made two field goals and Sean Maguire made a highlight-reel touchdown throw on fourth-and-goal that lifted the No. 13 Seminoles a 27-2 victory over the No. 12 Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
A stadium-record crowd of 90,916 watched as FSU earned its first three-game winning streak in Gainesville and held UF to its fewest points in the series’ 60-game history.
The Seminoles (10-2) have beaten the Gators (10-2) in five of Jimbo Fisher’s six years as head coach and reached the 10-win mark for the fifth time under Fisher as well.
And FSU’s seniors picked up their 49th win since the 2012 season, breaking a school record for wins in a four-year span that was set last season.
A matchup that pitted two of the nation’s top-20 defenses lived up to its billing.
Neither team surpassed 160 yards through the air as quarterbacks Maguire and Treon Harris were pressured all night.
Florida’s No. 7-ranked rush defense bottled up FSU star Dalvin Cook for most of the first three quarters of the game, but Cook broke through for a 15-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter that effectively sealed the win before he added a 29-yard TD to push the final score to 27-2.
Despite a slow start, Cook finished with 183 yards on 26 carries, marking the eighth time this season that he’s reached the 100-yard mark. In the process Cook also set the FSU single-season record for all-purpose yards (1,875) that was set in 1977 by Larry Key.
The Seminoles’ defense, meanwhile, held up its end of the bargain on the other side. Despite allowing 136 yards to running back Kelvin Taylor, FSU held the Gators to just 262 total yards and limited Harris to 19 of 38 passing for 134 yards.
Florida’s offense only seriously threatened to score twice. But its best chance to get back in the game was snuffed out by junior defensive end DeMarcus Walker. After the Gators drove inside the Seminoles’ 10-yard line early in the fourth quarter, Walker took over – first by pressuring Harris into an intentional grounding penalty on third down, and then by blocking UF kicker Austin Hardin’s 37-yard field goal attempt.
Hardin also missed a 51-yard attempt at the end of the first half.
FSU’s Aguayo proved to be every bit the advantage FSU expected coming into the game. The redshirt junior made his two longest field goals of the season, the second of which was a 51-yarder that bounced off the left upright and in for a 13-0 lead.
Florida’s only points of the night came after Maguire recovered his own fumble in the end zone for a safety.
The Seminoles were looking to shut out Florida for the first time in series history. The Gators own the nation’s longest non-shutout streak, which dates back to 1988.
Making his first appearance in the FSU-UF series, Maguire finished 14 of 28 for 160 yards.
But he made perhaps the play of the night, scrambling right on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line and threading a pass between two UF defenders to find Jeremy Kerr for a touchdown.
It was the first catch of Kerr’s career.