TWO IN A ROW
Florida State's victory in The Swamp marks the team's first win in Gainesville since 2003. It is also the first time the Seminoles have won consecutive games in the series since 2002-03. Those two seasons were also the last two in which FSU totaled 18 wins or more, which they have now done in 2010-11.
Florida State recorded eight tackles for loss in the first half of Saturday's game, on its way to a new season-high in that category. The first-half total of eight was more TFLs than FSU has had in any entire game since recording 10 versus Duke on October 15 this year. Christian Jones set a new career-high for the linebacker with two, as did Terrance Parks, who also had two. The previous single season high for TFLs by the Seminoles was set in the opener versus ULM with 10.5, which FSU blew by Saturday with 13 in the game. It was the most tackles behind the line recorded by FSU since November 15, 2008, versus BC (13).
ANOTHER GREAT NIGHT
Senior punter Shawn Powell finally qualified for the NCAA rankings last week and immediately jumped to first in the nation in punting and net punting. The senior came into Saturday's game with 16 punts inside the 20 this year. Make that 21 now with five in this game. Powell placed a 34-yard punt inside the 12-yard line that led to an FSU interception two plays later. Then in the second quarter, he dropped his 10th punt of the year inside the 10 when his 45-yarder was downed at the 1-yard line. At the end of the half, he boomed a 53-yard blast that was once again inside the 20 thanks to the Seminoles' kick coverage. His second punt of the second half went 62 yards and was downed at the 8. He then booted another 50-yarder that was downed at the 10. It was his 11th inside the 10 this season and the second of the night. It was also his 11th 50-plus-yard punt in the last three games.
GONE IN 60
Powell is having his best year in an illustrious career at FSU. The nation's top punter is especially excelling when it comes to booming kicks. Versus Florida, his 62-yard punt in the third quarter was the seventh-longest of his career. He is in the midst of a single-season career-best with six punts of 60 yards or more this season alone.
THAT LOOKS FAMILIAR
Greg Reid's pick of a John Brantley pass in the first quarter was the sixth INT of the junior's career, but it was just his first of the season. The pick by Reid broke a 14-game streak for the junior without a pass intercepted. He added another later in the first half to up his career total to seven.
THEY COME IN BUNCHES
The Seminoles came into the game with just one interception by a cornerback. In the first quarter alone Saturday they had two, and in the first half, three. After a Reid pick was turned into six points early in the quarter, Mike Harris killed a Gator drive with another interception that he returned 89 yards down to the Florida 4-yard line, which turned into another touchdown. It was the seventh-longest interception return in FSU history, but the second-longest ever not to result in a TD. Reid was at it again in the second quarter, as he tied a career-high with two interceptions in the same game, picking off Brantley for the third time. The Gator QB came into the game with three INTs the entire season. The last time FSU picked off three passes or more in a game was against another SEC team, South Carolina in the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl.
WHAT A TIME FOR YOUR FIRST
Parks, a senior, will remember the first interception and touchdown of his collegiate career for a long time, as it came in Saturday's game and put the Seminoles in front 21-0. Cornellius Carradine pressured Gator QB Jacoby Brissett, who threw a ball right into the arms of Parks, who ran it back 29 yards for six points.
The Seminoles picked off four passes Saturday, with three different players pulling in an INT. This was the most interceptions in a game by a Florida State team since the squad recorded four interceptions in 1999 versus Maryland.
Reid had another big return versus the Gators on Saturday, when he took a UF punt back 39 yards and nearly got into the end zone. Reid passed Willie Reid to move into second place all-time at FSU in career punt-return yardage. He is now closing in on Deion Sanders, who is the all-time leader with 1,429 yards.
Florida State held the Gators scoreless in the first half for just the third time in the history of the series. The last time that happened was 1979, and then in 1964 before that. FSU has never recorded a shutout versus UF, and thanks to a turnover late in the fourth quarter that Florida managed to turn into a TD, that streak is still alive.
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MORE TDs FOR FREEMAN
Freshman Devonta Freeman put FSU up 7-0 early in the first quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run. It was the fifth time in the last eight games that Freeman has scored a TD. The freshman was at it again in the second quarter, when he punched one in to put the Seminoles in front 14-0. It was his second multi-TD game of the season (two at BC). He now has eight of the Seminoles' 20 rushing TDs this year.
BEST TRUE FRESHMEN
Freeman has started just six games this season, but that has not stopped him from having one of the most productive true-freshman campaigns by a tailback in FSU history. In the first half Saturday, Freeman passed Warrick Dunn to move into fifth place all-time for rushing yards by a true freshman. He now has 531 on the season. Next on the list is No. 4 Larry Key, with 602 yards, and No. 3 Travis Minor, with 623. Freeman also moved into a tie for 15th place for rushing TDs by any Seminole in a season with eight. Of the top six true-freshman rushers in FSU history, only Minor (1993) had more TDs in their first year (nine) than Freeman.
John Crist is the editor-in-chief of NoleDigest.com, a Heisman Trophy voter and a member of the Football Writers Association of America.