Skip to main content

Florida Tied 7-7 at Halftime With Florida State, Jones Picked Off 3 Times

In a game that will decide bowl-game eligibility, the Florida Gators are taking on the Florida State Seminoles.

Entering today's contest against the Florida State Seminoles (5-6), the Florida Gators (5-6) are doing so without a permanent head coach. Dan Mullen was fired last week, just a day after the program's 24-23 OT loss to the Missouri Tigers.

Entering halftime, the Gators would be tied 7-7 with the Seminoles. A nightmare first half for the Florida offense.

Now, the programs are attempting to earn their right to play in a bowl game, something the Gators have done for the past three seasons since Mullen's first season as the team's head coach in 2018.

Coaching in Mullen's place today is interim head coach Greg Knox, who is currently 1-0 as an interim HC (Mississippi State).

With a new coaching staff set to head into the building in the near future, this game is all about the players, especially the team's 27 seniors who are likely playing their last regular-season game at Florida. 

Speaking of, entering the game it was reported that Florida QB Emory Jones injured his ankle during practice, making his status for today in doubt, with redshirt freshman QB Anthony Richardson expected to start.

Well, that report was proved to be a bit premature as Jones was seen warming up as usual, and made the start as the team's QB as he's done for most of the year.

Richardson would come into the game for the first time in a couple of weeks on a third-and-two during the team's first series of the game but came up hobbling off to the sideline.

With Jones as the team's QB for the remainder of the drive, he would hit tight end Kemore Gamble in stride on a 47-yard touchdown down the left sideline. Jones began the game by completing five out of six of his passes for  78 yards and a TD.

Florida was out to an early 7-0 lead to start the game, a perfect start for the Gators.

Read More

Defensively, the Gators would be the better of the two teams, holding FSU to just 17 yards to start the game which included a 16-yard loss on a botched snap to backup QB McKenzie Milton. Starting FSU QB Jordan Travis was injured during the team's first drive of the game after a Brenton Cox Jr. sack.

He would re-enter the contest during the second drive but went out shortly after landing on the shoulder again.

In what would be a nice capsulation of both teams this season, the Seminoles would turn the football over with a McKenzie Milton interception to Rashad Torrence. On the very next play, the Gators gave it right back after a flea-flicker. Jones tossed the ill-advised ball to Jammie Robinson after some pressure.

With Travis hurt and Milton struggling the Seminoles would play their third quarterback, Tate Rodemaker, on their next drive with Travis returning to action before the end of the first half with around 10 minutes remaining.

Jones' day wouldn't get much better as the redshirt junior threw two picks on back-to-back drives, including the ill-advised pass to Robinson. This time, he'd be picked off by FSU's Kalen DeLoach.

FSU's first touchdown of the game would come via a nine-yard scramble by Travis. Travis started the game completing all five of his passes for 59 yards. He ran the ball five times for 27 yards and a touchdown with about seven minutes remaining in the first half.

In what looked to be their best drive of the game, the Gators would come up empty on their final drive of the first half. Jones threw his third interception of the first half, a nightmare first half for the redshirt junior. The interception would occur in the end zone.

Jones finished the first half completing 16 out of 23 of his passes for 163 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. 

Gators running back Nay'Quan Wright was hurt on the drive and was helped off the field by trainers, not putting any weight on his left ankle.

Stay tuned to AllGators for continuous coverage of Florida Gators football, basketball and recruiting. Follow along on social media at @SI_AllGators on Twitter and Florida Gators on Sports Illustrated on Facebook.