UF owned time of possession


Florida Gators linebacker Jelani Jenkins is tackled after making an interception against the Florida State Seminoles during the first half at Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday Nov. 24, 2012 in Tallahassee, Fla. (Matt Stamey/Staff photographer)

Published: Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 9:02 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 9:02 p.m.

Best way to take advantage of a turnover

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Florida Gators linebacker Jelani Jenkins is tackled after making an interception against the Florida State Seminoles during the first half at Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday Nov. 24, 2012 in Tallahassee, Fla. (Matt Stamey/Staff photographer)

Midway through the second quarter, Florida’s Darrin Kitchens caused a fumble on the kickoff by Karlos Williams and Jabari Gorman recovered on the FSU 21. Given Florida’s struggles to score offensive touchdowns in the last four games, getting the ball into the end zone was hardly a given. But Loucheiz Purifoy took a reverse for eight yards, and Mike Gillislee needed only two runs from there. His nine-yard scoring run featured a powerful block from tackle Xavier Nixon on the corner.

Worst way to take advantage of a turnover

And just like that Florida got the ball back on an interception by Jelani Jenkins on the first play of the next drive. But this time it looked more like the Gator team we’ve seen recently. A holding penalty, a false-start penalty, and then a trick play that backfired when Jeff Driskel was sacked, all took the Gators out of field-goal range and they were forced to punt.

Best call that didn’t work

You thought you might see some trickeration on special teams, and Florida tried it in the first quarter. With the ball on the Florida State 26, the Gators lined up in the swinging gate formation they used to score a two-point conversion against Vanderbilt. Trey Burton faked a handoff and had his brother, Clay, wide open down the middle of the field. But Trey threw a wounded duck, and Clay couldn’t handle it as Florida turned the ball over on downs.

Best and worst way to end a home career

EJ Manuel struggled early, led an FSU rally in the third quarter and had a huge turnover in the fourth. But on his last play at Bobby Bowden Field, the senior scrambled for a 22-yard touchdown as time expired. So he’s got that going for him, a touchdown run on his last play in Tallahassee. He also has a loss, but Manuel and the Seminoles have a chance to win the ACC next week.

Stat of the game

Time of possession is usually one of those stats that commentators think is way more important than it actually is. But it certainly played a factor in Florida’s ability to score 24 fourth-quarter points. The Gators had the ball for 21:58 in the first half compared to 8:02 for FSU. Florida ended up with an overall 36:20 to 23:40 advantage. “It was a performance of will,” center Jonotthan Harrison said. “Our will broke their’s.”

Play of the game

FSU led 20-16 and had the ball after a first down at its own 42 early in the fourth quarter when quarterback EJ Manuel scrambled out of the pocket. He was hammered by freshman linebacker Antonio Morrison, who was in for an injured Jelani Jenkins, and coughed up the ball. After a wild scramble, Dominique Easley picked it up and returned it to the FSU 37. After a long delay while Manuel was attended to on the field, Mike Gillislee blew through the middle of the line on the next play and gave the Gators a lead they would not lose.

What’s up with that?

For much of the game, the penalties were lopsided. Florida ended up with 12 to FSU’s three, but at one point it was 10-0. What was amazing is the ACC crew seemed to miss some obvious calls. For example, the pass interference call on Marcus Roberson. But the most egregious came when Loucheiz Purifoy was returning a third-quarter kickoff and was leveled by Karlos Williams. The replays showed it was clearly a helmet-to-helmet hit, but no flag was dropped. Even Mike Pereira, the rules analyst for Fox and former vice president of NFL officials, tweeted that, “We thought in the kickoff return it should have been targeting. Have seen others called that weren't as bad today.”

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