Gainesville, FL -- The Florida State Seminoles were unable to knock off the number one ranked Florida Gators Saturday afternoon. The Seminoles fell 37-10, losing to the Gators for a sixth consecutive season.
EJ Manuel, making his third career start, struggled to get much going in the first half as the offense fell behind 24-0. Manuel rebounded in the second half finishing the came 19-of-32 for 186 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Jarmon Fortson made two big second half catches including a nine-yard touchdown reception.
Once again it Tim Tebow who was the biggest thorn in the 'Noles' side as he threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more. His favorite target on the day was tight end Aaron Hernandez who finished with five catches for 83 yards and two touchdowns.
The Seminoles trailed 30-0 before Bowden opted for a field goal on fourth-and-goal from the two-yard line on the final play of the third quarter instead of trying for the touchdown.
"Why did we go for three? Simply because the worst thing that could happen to us was to get shut out," Head coach Bobby Bowden said. "We just wanted to avoid the shut out. I don't think I have ever done that. Anything worse than being down 30-0, being down 30 and have nothing on that scoreboard. We took care of that in a heartbeat."
The defense struggled again giving up 545 yards of total offense to the Gators, who were 10-of-13 on third down conversions.
"They did all the damage in the first half," Bowden said. "The offense could not get field position the first half, when we did we got a penalty. Of course we couldn't stop them, it's been that way much of the year."
Bowen asked not to be asked about his future after the game but did say this will be his last trip to Florida no matter what happens. When he was asked if he still wanted to coach he responded, "Yeah I want to coach next year. Now let me say I need to go on and do some soul searching."
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