UF ends season 7-5; FSU snaps Florida's win streak in rivalry
Published: Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 6:59 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, November 27, 2010 at 9:31 p.m.
TALLAHASSEE - The streak is over — with an exclamation point.
No. 22 Florida State snapped Florida's six-game winning streak between the schools Saturday, beating the beleaguered Gators 31-7 before 82,324 at Doak Campbell Stadium.
It was Florida's worst defeat against the rival Seminoles since losing 52-17 in 1988. Florida coach Urban Meyer fell to 16-2 all-time against rivals Tennessee, Georgia and Florida State.
Immediately after the end of a 7-5 regular season, UF's worst since 1988, Meyer vowed to rebuild the program.
"I can assure you we are going to rebuild this thing and build it up the right way and do it right," Meyer said. "Obviously we are down a little bit. I didn't believe we'd be this far down, but we are."
Familiar problems, turnovers and penalties, doomed the Gators. Florida turned the ball over four times while being penalized 11 times for 79 yards.
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher picked up a win in his first game as head coach against the Gators on an emotional Senior Day.
"For what they've been through the last four years here, in all the controversy from academics and coaching changes and things they had no control over, these guys didn't say anything, they didn't complain," Fisher said. "They just lined up and played and worked and did everything we've asked them to do."
The Seminoles' 9-3 finish in the regular season is their best since 2003, the last time they beat the Gators. FSU will keep playing next week after also finding out it will participate in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game against Virginia Tech. Maryland beat North Carolina State 38-31 to keep the Wolfpack from clinching the division Saturday.
Meyer said Florida will turn its immediate attention to recruiting before finding out next week which bowl game it will attend. Florida will be heading to a bowl for the 20th straight season. As a Southeastern Conference member in the middle of the bowl pecking order, Florida could wind up at a variety of locations. The Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, the Music City Bowl in Nashville and the Birmingham Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., are all possibilities.
"I also want to take care of our seniors so we're going to do our best to win this bowl game," Meyer said.