The Gators (7-4) ended any legitimate chance the Seminoles had of earning a third straight Bowl Championship Series berth. Believe it or not, Florida State (8-3) still could finish tied for the Atlantic Coast Conference title but probably would lose all tiebreaker scenarios because of it BCS ranking, which is expected to tumble Monday.
Much like the Seminoles' spirits.
"We weren't completely down because we knew we could move the ball on them," Sexton said.
"We knew we could have success as long as we executed and stopped shooting ourselves in the foot. We were excited about the second half. I feel we came out and really started to make some things happen, but we just couldn't make the big play."
FSU finished the first half with no yards rushing in the first half, and Leon Washington carried just three times. The passing game wasn't much better. Sexton was 9-of-23 passing for 88 yards and was lifted late in the third quarter for Chris Rix.
Sexton finished 14-of-32 for 164 yards and was sacked three times.
Rix came off the bench and threw a touchdown pass with 8:30 to play that cut the lead to 13-10.
Rix also drove the Seminoles to the 18-yard line in the waning seconds, but his last pass was intercepted by Jarvis Harris with 8 seconds to play. Rix finished 9-of-16 for 150 yards.
"I was very much focused when I got in there," Rix said.
"I just ran out of time."
Washington, meanwhile, was extremely candid about the Seminoles' poor play.
"As an offense we moved the ball at times pretty good, but collectively as a team on offense, we couldn't get it done for some reason," Washington said.
"We weren't able to make the plays we need. I thought after halftime we had numerous chances but we failed to put anything together to get back in the game. We missed a couple of field goals and not being able to score in the red zone hurt us.
"I just think as a team to lose like this at Bobby Bowden Field where we haven't lost since 1986 hurts our team. Coaches and players, we need to learn from this loss."