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November 24, 2007

Noles lay an egg in Gainesville

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Bobby Bowden and Florida State hoped to end the season on a high note with an upset win over in-state rival Florida (9-3). Instead, the 'Noles were dominated in every facet of the game and fell to the Gators 45-12 .

Heisman hopeful Tim Tebow made a strong case for college football's top individual award. The sophomore signal-caller threw three touchdown passes, and ran for two scores and helped the 12th-ranked Gators score touchdowns on their first three drives.

All in all, the Gators scored touchdowns on four of their first five possessions, helping them to big lead that eased the pressure on Florida's young defense that has struggled much of the year.

Percy Harvin did his part, too. After missing the last two games because of migraine headaches, the speedy sophomore returned and ran 16 times for 157 yards. He scored on a 24-yard run with three minutes to play.

Tebow and Harvin burned the Seminoles (7-5) all over the field, helping extend Florida's recent dominance in the series.

The Gators have won four in a row, the longest streak since winning their sixth straight in 1986.

The lone highlight for Florida State was the kicking of Gary Cismesia. The senior kicker hit four-of-four field goal attempts including a school and ACC record 60-yard field goal in the final second of the first half.

Behind Drew Weatherford and Preston Parker, the Seminole offense moved the football fairly well in the first half but constantly stalled in the redzone. When Cismesia's 60-yard field goal cut the margin to 12 points at the half the Seminole coaches and players felt they had some momentum going into the locker room. The Gator offense quickly ended any thoughts FSU had at a comeback with a 6-play, 81-yard drive to start the third quarter.

"That was a big time drive by their offense," Weatherford said. "As a quarterback those are the kinds of drives you live for but that really deflates the defense when you leave the half with momentum and they come back and really took it out of us."

With the loss, FSU drops to 7-5 on the season and will await to be invited to a bowl game. The most likely destinations are the December 31st Music City Bowl in Nashville (TN), the December 29th Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte (NC), or the December 28th Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando (FL).



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