November 28, 2010 – By Scott
When No. 22 Florida State welcomed the Florida Gators into Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday afternoon, it marked the first time since the 2004 season that the Seminoles would head into the game as favorites, although not much of one (2 1/2 points). Also, it marked the first time that new head coach Jimbo Fisher would face their in-state rivals.
The Noles appeared on paper to be the better team for the first time in a while. They went above and beyond what odds makers thought and routed the Gators 31-7 for their first victory over Florida in six years.
The win was just the beginning of the party in Tallahassee. Not long after celebrating their victory, the Noles slipped into the 2010 ACC championship game after Maryland upset North Carolina State.
“To find out after beating Florida that you’re going to the ACC championship game, that’s pretty special,” Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder said.
When Florida State began the 2010 College Football season, a few goals were set by both players and coaches. The first, win the Atlantic Division of the ACC. Others included win the state of Florida and win ten games. Well, they accomplished two of those in one day and now will have two opportunities to get the final one.
The first quarter ended with the Gators up 7-3 but from then on, FSU dominated on both sides of the ball. Lonnie Pryor would open up the second quarter with a 9-yard touchdown run and Ponder would throw two of his three touchdowns as the Noles scored 21 points to carry a 24-7 lead into halftime. Willie Haulstead would haul in a 29-yard touchdown to put the icing on the cake in the third quarter and the Noles would carry their 31-7 lead until the clock read 0.
FSU once again was backed by tremendous play on defense. Much of it had to do with an inconsistent Gator offense and four turnovers that killed the Gators. Florida was limited to just 276 yards and unbelievably only 64 yards passing. They used three quarterbacks throughout the game with no success.
Florida State now improves to 9-3 on the season, their best record since 2003, and will face Virginia Tech in the conference championship game next Saturday. The Gators dropped to 7-5, their worst record under Urban Meyer.