In the second quarter, senior kicker Matt Leach connected on the first of his two field goals, as he nailed a 38-yard field goal with 9:01 remaining in the first half, to extend the Gator lead over FSU to 10-0.
With only 17 seconds remaining in the first half, Florida State got on the board with a 20-yard field goal by Gary Cismesia, cutting the Florida lead to 10-3 at the close of the first half.
In the second half, the Gators struck first, with Leach booting his second field goal of the game with 11:51 to go in the game. Leach's field goal from 21 yards out, gave Florida a 10-point lead.
On its next possession, Florida State answered the Gators field goal by driving 80 yards in 3:07 to score its only touchdown of the game. Senior quarterback Chris Rix, who came off the bench, hit Chauncey Stovall on a broken play for a 27-yard scoring strike, to cut the Florida lead to 13-10, with 8:30 to go in the game.
Leading by only three, the Gators rallied and put together a nine play 80-yard drive to cap Florida's scoring, with junior running back Ciatrick Fason scampering for eight of his 103 yards to give the Gators a 10-point lead with 4:59 remaining in the contest. The touchdown run was Fason's 10th rushing touchdown of the season and only the fourth rushing touchdown the Florida State defense has surrendered this season.
With 3:48 to go in the game, Florida State cut into the Gators lead, as Xavier Beitia booted a 52-yard field goal, bringing the score to 20-13.
After a booming punt by Gator sophomore Eric Wilbur, the Seminoles started their final drive at their own 45-yard line. Rix would lead Florida State down to the Gators 18-yard line, as he completed two passes to Craphonso Thorpe for 32 yards and a five-yard pass to Lorenzo Booker. Then, facing fourth and 10 from the Florida 18-yard line, the Gators blitzed Rix and he fired the Seminoles second interception of the game to Herring, sealing the win for the Gators.
For the game, Leak was 19-of-39 for 231 yards and a touchdown pass, while Fason recorded his sixth 100-yard game of the season, dashing for 103 yards on 24 carries to become the first running back this season to eclipse the 100-yard rushing mark against the vaunted Seminoles defense.
The Gators finish the 2004 regular season with a mark of 7-4 overall including a 4-4 record in Southeastern Conference games. The Gators, who became bowl eligible with their win versus South Carolina, now await word on the location of its 14th consecutive postseason bowl bid.