Roberson notches standout game

The Gators knew it was coming, Marcus Roberson said. Though the orange and blue came out swinging in Tallahassee Saturday afternoon, clinching the lead first, the Gators knew the garnet and gold would strike back — it was just a matter of when. The Noles' time to rise arrived in the second half of the rivalry game, but so did Roberson's huge plays, eventually carrying Florida to a 37-26 victory.

UF was boasting a shutout game just moments before halftime rolled around at Doak S. Campbell Stadium. The Gators were nestled in a comfortable 13-0 lead before the Noles touched the board. However, FSU kicker Dustin Hopkins' successful field goal attempt cut the score 13-3 five seconds before the two teams peeled away to their locker rooms.

Early in the third quarter, FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel rocketed a deep out pass that it seemed Marcus Roberson intercepted — but whether his cleats fell inside of play or out of bounds was questionable. The play inflicted controversy among officials as the play was dubbed for review.

Roberson said he himself wasn't even sure if he was inbounds.

However, the officials thought so, and the ruling on the field stood.

"I was just lucky enough for it to be called an interception," he said.

But it was when Florida was hanging on by the skin of its teeth in the fourth quarter that the sophomore made his most impressive defensive play of the evening. UF was barely leading FSU 23-20 when Noles punter Cason Beatty fired away a 54-yard punt to the UF18.

Roberson returned it, marking the play as Florida's longest punt return since 2008 with Brandon James' giveback versus Tennessee.

The Ft. Lauderdale native honed in on he and his team's ability to remain tenacious throughout the matchup, especially when Florida State pulled ahead 20-16 at the tip of the fourth quarter.

"We knew adversity was going to come, so we just stayed positive," Roberson said. "We know things like that are going to happen in the game, we just have to fight through every time."

Roberson, a St. Thomas Aquinas alum, has chalked up 11 games this season with 31 punt returns to date. He has 18 total tackles for his 2012 run. In regards to the FSU game, he said he was grateful to have solid blocks from his teammates and that this game just happened to be his moment.

"I feel like everybody is able to make plays," he said. "I was just lucky enough to have my chance."

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