The annual tussle between Florida and Florida State featured two of college football’s most exciting playmakers at the quarterback position, Florida’s Anthony Richardson and Florida State’s Jordan Travis.
Travis and the Seminoles emerged victorious on Friday night, edging past the Gators by a final score of 45-38. While both quarterbacks turned in highlight-level plays, what Travis did on Friday night is certainly worthy of deeper discussion.
The first play from Travis that we will discuss came late in the first quarter, with Florida out to an early 14-7 lead. The Seminoles faced a 1st and 10 at the Florida 29-yard line, and the offense dialed up a zone read design, with Travis reading the edge defender on the left side of the offense.
When that defender crashed inside, Travis pulled the football and attacked the left edge, bursting into the open field. After a series of cuts in space, the goalline was in sight.
And he would not be denied:
Travis managed to keep his balance, tumbling into the end zone with the game-tying touchdown.
But the Florida State quarterback was just getting started.
Midway through the second quarter, the Seminoles again trailed, this time by a score of 21-14. Florida State now faced a 3rd and 10, at the Florida 11-yard line. What you are about to see might be the greatest 10-and-a-half-yard scramble in the history of the Florida State football program:
Before even finishing his drop, Travis faced pressure in the form of linebacker Antwaun Powell-Ryland Jr., as the defender burst through the interior of the offensive line. Travis managed to wrangle free from the linebacker, but this was just the beginning. Two more players had a free run at Travis, including defensive end Princely Umanmielen over the right tackle, and cornerback Jaydon Hill, who blitzed over the left side of the offense.
Again, Travis found a way to break free, and escaped to the right. With defensive lineman Gergon Dexter Sr. chasing him, Travis cut upfield, nearly reaching the end zone.
The play was ruled a touchdown on the field, but overturned after a review. Florida State scored on the next snap, on a one-yard run from Travis.
We are not done.
Because late in the third quarter the Seminoles took the lead for the first time since they led 7-0 after scoring on their second possession of the game. The big play that set up the touchdown? Another bit of magic from Travis:
This time it is linebacker Ventrell Miller who applied the initial pressure, forcing Travis to spin away from danger nearly immediately after the snap. Travis then cuts upfield, sliding to the turf just shy of the end zone.
Florida State scored on the next play to take a 31-24 lead.
Travis finished the night having completed 13 of 30 passes for 270 yards and a touchdown, and he also gained 83 yards on 15 carries, with a pair of touchdowns to his credit. On the other side of the field, Richardson had a little magic of his own, completing 9 of 27 passes for 198 yards and 3 scores along with an interception. Richardson also picked up 41 yards on the ground, including a bruising run in the third quarter where he was stopped short of the first down, but bullied his way past the chains:
Still, the night belonged to Travis and the Seminoles, who improved to 9-3 on the season and knocked off the Gators for the first time since the 2016 season.
And the Seminoles got a little magic from their quarterback along the way to get the win.