Dan Mullen's Five Most-Fun Wins at Florida so Far: No. 3 - Florida State (2018)
There was just over two minutes to play in the annual Florida-Florida State rivalry game. Florida running back Matt Jones took the handoff from quarterback Jeff Driskel.
Jones went 32 yards untouched for a touchdown to put the Gators up 36-20. Jones then celebrated in his white jersey and orange pants in the garnet end zone that had "Florida State" spelled out in gold. That was back in 2012.
Little did Jones, then-Florida coach Will Muschamp or anyone else know that this would be the last time before five brutal years of Gator football. Muschamp was fired two years following that game and was replaced by Jim McElwain, who never beat the Seminoles.
So how do you replace a coach who can't beat your biggest rival?
Get somebody who can't lose to them.
As Florida's offensive coordinator (2005-2008) and now as UF's head coach, Mullen is 6-0 against FSU. And that's where we get the third most fun game in Mullen's tenure so far. After those five years of losing to the team in the panhandle, Mullen had different ideas.
He stepped into Doak Campbell Stadium and embarrassed fellow first-year head coach Willie Taggart. A new win streak (now 2-0) was started that day, as the orange and blue took down it's garnet and gold rival 41-14.
Lamical Perine started things off when he got kick-out blocks from left tackle Martez Ivey and tight end C'yontai Lewis. Once the junior running back got past the blitzing safety, there was nothing but November air and green grass between him and six points.
A one-handed catch by Cam Akers resulted in a Florida State touchdown a few possessions later, only to be answered by a Josh Hammond touchdown grab. Those scores and a few field goals made it 20-7 in favor of the Gators early in the second half.
That was when a strip sack by then-Florida edge rusher Jachai Polite of then-FSU quarterback Deondre Francois got the Gators the ball back. Shortly after, then-Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks rolled right to find wide receiver Trevon Grimes in the end zone for six more.
At that point, it truly felt like UF had the game won. Despite it still being the third quarter, the Seminoles looked conquered. Taggart and his entire squad looked like they'd rather be anywhere but Doak Campbell Stadium.
That was especially prevalent when Franks hit then-Florida wide receiver Van Jefferson on a 38-yard touchdown pass. Even if you watch football on a regular basis, you’ve probably never seen anyone this open.
Then, with one final statement, then-Florida running back Jordan Scarlett officially put the Seminoles out of their misery. He got into the end zone to put UF up 41-14 and that was the final in Tallahassee.
The vibe for the Gators and Gator fans the rest of the day was pretty much this.