The Sunshine Showdown caught fire in the 1990s when both teams combined for three national championships in a six year span. The Spurrier and Bowden years firmly planted the Gators and Seminoles into the upper crust of the college football planet. While there have been a flurry of ups and downs for both squads, these two teams have not lost their powerhouse status. This season, Florida State has surged back into the top 25, thus dropping their cloak of irrelevancy.
Coming off a loss to hapless Vanderbilt, the Gators seemed poised to get smoked by a resurgent Florida State squad. Ah, but, this is rivalry weekend where possibilities are boundless.
Led by quarterback, Anthony Richardson, Florida took a 24-21 lead into half. The blue and orange that crowded into one corner of The Doak had the gator chomp in a frenzy.
The Seminoles turned to the running game, which lifted them ahead 38-24 by the end of the third. At this point, with the tomahawk chop in full force and the stadium at max decibels, it appeared as though Florida had been shut down.
But, in true rivalry fashion, the Gators made a fourth quarter comeback tying the game with 7 minutes remaining. However, the suddenly quieted crowd wouldn’t have to wait long to for Chief Osceola to ride Renegade in celebration. An efficient drive ended with a 17-yard run that gave FSU the lead for good.
As the clock struck zero, Seminole fans hopped the brick wall and swarmed onto the field to commemorate a successful season ending with a victory over a hated rival. Doak Campbell Stadium is an intimidating venue at night, and the Gators became the latest victim.