Game ball: Would anyone object to calling it a tie between Dalvin Cook and DeMarcus Walker? Each had games to remember in Florida State’s 31-13 win over Florida. Cook continued his career-long tormenting of UF, this year posting 153 yards and a touchdown to open the scoring. And Walker was a force throughout the night. He recovered two fumbles – the first of which set up Cook’s TD – and recorded two fourth-quarter sacks to help squash any hopes of a Gator rally. Both Florida natives, Cook and Walker have been at their best against UF. Cook has run for 480 yards and three touchdowns in three games against the Gators, while Walker has combined for 14 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss (two sacks), two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and a blocked field-goal attempt in the last two meetings.
Play of the game: Despite dominating for much of the game, the Seminoles still held just a tentative 10-6 lead midway through the third quarter. That changed in a big way when Deondre Francois took a third-and-10 snap, stepped into a throw over the middle and hit Travis Rudolph in stride. Rudolph then weaved through the UF secondary for a 46-yard touchdown that made it 17-6 and gave the Seminoles some welcome breathing room.
Turning point: With FSU leading by 11, Freddie Stevenson, a senior playing in his final game at Doak Campbell Stadium, took a handoff up the middle and broke through for a 27-yard touchdown that made it 24-6 early in the fourth quarter. It was Stevenson’s fifth touchdown of the season and, despite a later UF special-teams touchdown, it took out any drama from Saturday’s endgame. The Gators hadn’t scored more than 24 points since a 40-14 win over Missouri on Oct. 15.
It was over when: Derrick Nnadi sacked UF’s Austin Appleby late in the fourth quarter and forced Appleby’s second fumble of the night. Walker recovered at the Gators’ 26-yard line and, four plays later, Francois scrambled into the end zone for a touchdown that made it 31-13. In truth, the game was probably already over. But with about four minutes to go and a two-score deficit, UF still had faint hopes for a rally. Instead, the Gators fumbled away their comeback bid and FSU put an exclamation point on its fourth straight win over its rival.