Florida’s 10 best wins of past 10 seasons: No. 2, Gators rally in Tally

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Florida running back Mike Gillislee (23) celebrates in the end zone after a 9-yard touchdown run against Florida State during the first half of the, Nov. 24, 2012 game in Tallahassee. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

The decade was a wild one, interesting to be sure with so many ups and downs and four different head coaches for the Florida football team. We continue the countdown of the 10 best wins of the decade from 2010-19:

No. 2

2012: Florida 37, FSU 26.

Where: Bobby Bowden Field at Doak S. Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee

Rankings: Florida was No. 6. FSU was No. 10.

The set-up: Florida’s last trip to Tallahassee was a bit of an embarrassment in Urban Meyer’s final game. Will Muschamp’s first game against the ‘Noles the year before was the same thing (UF lost despite allowing only 95 yards of offense). But there was more at stake than bragging rights for this game. If the Gators won and Notre Dame lost to Southern Cal later that night, Muschamp had a real shot at playing for a national title in his second year as the Gator coach.

What happened: Florida led 13-3 at the half, but FSU dominated the third quarter and went up 20-13. That set up an incredible run by the Gators, as the Seminoles fell apart with turnover after turnover (five in the game). The turning point was a ferocious hit by freshman linebacker Antonio Morrison that caused a fumble by FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel that Florida’s Dominique Easley recovered. On the next play, Mike Gillislee ran 37 yards to put Florida ahead and Matt Jones clinched it with a 32-yard TD run with 2:30 left to play. FSU scored on the game’s final play.

Telling stat: The Gators did it the way Muschamp liked to do it at Florida, with a pounding running game and an excellent defense. Florida ran the ball 47 times in the game for 249 yards and rushed for three touchdowns.

Quote sheet

“I think it was a real sexy win. I was gonna come in here with my shirt off.” — Will Muschamp.

“They controlled the line of scrimmage up front. They have a very good team. They did a great job.” — FSU coach Jimbo Fisher.

“We’re better than them. You have to finish the game. The fourth quarter, that’s the most important quarter.” — UF nose tackle Omar Hunter.