The Florida State football team’s disappointing season has finally come to an end.
The Seminoles (5-7, 3-5) who have had control over this rivalry for the past decade has fallen to the Florida Gators (9-3, 5-3) 41-14 in front of an announced crowd of 79,560 fans at Doak Campbell Stadium
Under the reigns of head coach Willie Taggart, FSU has no doubt hit a low, but despite one of the worst starts in FSU’s history, fans looked forward to this rivalry matchup in hopes of getting to a bowl game, but the Seminoles failed to deliver, ending their 36-year bowl streak.
Poor offensive line issues have mainly held FSU from achieving their goals this season, but the wins and losses still fall on the leader of the pack – and that is Taggart.
“Disappointing game, disappointing season,” said Taggart after the loss
“I think everybody in that locker room was hurting. Again, it’s unacceptable here at Florida State. As I said before we are a school that prides itself on winning and we didn’t get it done. I’m very disappointed in the way we performed today and throughout the year we didn’t get it done.”
While the Seminoles had to cope with another painful loss, the Gator’s got to take pleasure in ending FSU’s five-game win streak against them and handing the Seminoles its’ first losing season since 1976
“Great team win for us today. We came out and we wanted to play our best offense, defense and kicking game of the year and execute in all four phases,” said Gator’s head coach Dan Mullen.
“As we talk about it throughout the year, we want to get better and better as the year goes on and I really think we did. When you think you’re going to have the opportunity to play for a championship and lose it with a little skid, they really buckled down from that point and finished the season strong.”
The Gator’s have done well for themselves this season, obtaining bowl eligibility and surpassing expectations fans had for them this year.
“I think they’re finding themselves. You’ve got a team that went 4-7 last year with a new coach, a new program, a new way of doing things, so there’s a lot of firsts.”
Feleipe Franks threw for 254 yards and recorded three passing touchdowns in the game, outperforming FSU quarterback Deondre Francois, who threw for 100 yards less than Franks (154) and was sacked five times.
“He did a great job,” said Mullen on Frank’s performance. “I know it’s tough to play quarterback at the University of Florida, everybody’s got pretty high standards.”
As Mullen has seemingly turned his program around in his first season— Taggart and the Seminoles are doing just the complete opposite as they’ll have to swallow watching the rest of the season from home.
“We can grow from it and we will grow from it. I was brought here to get this program back right and that’s what we’ll do – let’s get it back right.”
Francois voiced after the game that the loss is cutting him deep
“It’s cutting deep right now. We’ve went to a bowl game every year that I’ve been here… I don’t think I’ve ever not seen Florida State in a bowl game since I’ve been alive. It’s just not a great feeling right now.”
Though the loss for FSU may have determined the decision in where recruits may decide to go, the first-year head coach remains positive about the outcome
“We [FSU] go back to work. We got recruiting coming up, we have to get out and recruit starting tomorrow and make sure we’re getting some really good football players in here to help us turn the program back around.”