The Florida State defense was spectacular against Florida on Saturday. The defense pitched a shutout, and, even with the safety the Florida State offense had in the fourth quarter, held the Gators to their lowest point total ever against Florida State.
Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher had some high praise for defensive coordinator Charles Kelly.
"Our defense was utterly dominant," Fisher said. "Charles Kelly and that staff, man what a job they’re doing."
The Seminoles held the Gators to just 3.3 yards per play, and 262 yards of total offense on the night. Florida quarterback Treon Harris was never able to get going with just 134 yards on 19-38 passing. He didn't complete a pass longer than 15 yards all game.
Florida State had been a very strong red zone defense all season coming into the game, and that continued against the Gators. Florida moved into the red zone three times, twice in the fourth quarter, and the Seminoles blocked a field goal and forced two turnover on downs. Florida State defensive end Demarcus Walker said keeping teams out of the endzone is a mentality that coach Kelly has instilled on the defense.
"Every Thursday when we start out team period, we line up in the endzone and coach Kelly asks us, 'Whose end zone is this,'" Walker said. "It's our endzone. The whole defense. Keep them out of the end zone. That's our mentality."
Walker led the way for the Seminoles with 8 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss, and 1 blocked field goal. He wasn't the only one to have a big game for the defense though. True freshman defensive back Derwin James and senior linebackers Terrance Smith and Reggie Northrup all had 9 tackles.
Florida State has enjoyed some great success playing in the Swamp this decade. The Gators have not scored a touchdown before garbage time since the 2009 game, and this was the best performance of the three games.