Nov. 28, 2009
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Florida State football team fell to No. 1 Florida by a score of 37-10 Saturday in Gainesville.
By dropping the rivalry game to the Gators, FSU finishes its 2009 season with a 6-6 mark. The team will now await word on where it will continue college football’s longest active bowl streak of 28 seasons in a row.
A few possible bowl destinations for the Seminoles include the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco, Calif., the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn. and the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, N.C.
With backup quarterback EJ Manuel at the helm of the offense for the third game in a row because of the shoulder injury to starter Christian Ponder, the Seminoles could not generate much consistency all day against a UF team that ranks No. 2 in the country in total defense.
Manuel finished the contest 19-of-30 for 198 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Manuel led all FSU rushers with 27 yards on 11 carries. Starting tailback Jermaine Thomas had just seven rushes for 21 yards.
Defensively, Florida State was unable to slow down Tim Tebow. The fourth-year Gator quarterback connected on 17 of his 21 pass attempts for 221 yards and three touchdowns. Florida churned out over 300 yards on the ground.
Florida State scored its first touchdown of the game with 6:05 remaining in the fourth quarter when Manuel – showing his moxie despite the day’s events – lobbed a pass to the back of the endzone to Fortson.
Fortson, who had snagged a long throw just one play later, jumped into the air and caught the nine-yard pass to move the score to 37-10.