TALLAHASSEE — Florida State's deflating fourth quarter overshadowed a strong night from junior defensive end Bjoern Werner.
The NFL draft prospect had 31/2 sacks, his second-best output of the year. His 13 sacks on the season tied Alonzo Jackson (2002) for the sixth-best season in school history.
Werner also made a game-changing play in the third quarter, immediately after the Seminoles cut Florida's lead to 13-10. He swooped in when UF's Jeff Driskel and Mike Gillislee botched a handoff and returned the fumble 9 yards to the Gators 19. That set up a touchdown run by QB EJ Manuel that gave FSU its first lead.
STOOPS INTERVIEWS WITH UK: FSU defensive coordinator Mark Stoops interviewed for the vacant head coaching job at Kentucky, CBSSports.com reported Saturday evening. Stoops has said he would like to be a head coach eventually, but was not available for comment after the game, per FSU policy.
HOPKINS MOVES UP: K Dustin Hopkins moved into third place in NCAA Division I-A history with 456 career points after booting two extra points and field goals of 50 and 53 yards. He also tied Georgia's Billy Bennett for the all-time I-A lead with 87 field goals.
SLOW START: FSU's scoreless first quarter was its worst statistical output of the season. UF held the Seminoles to 44 yards, the fewest FSU totaled in a quarter since mustering only 35 in last season's Champs Sports Bowl win over Notre Dame.
TANK TAKEN OUT: Standout DE Cornellius Carradine left with an injury in the third quarter. FSU coach Jimbo Fisher did not have details or an update of the injury immediately after the game. Carradine led the 'Noles and tied a career high with 11 tackles and added 1.5 tackles for loss and a quarterback hurry.
BREAKING GROUND: FSU had a ceremonial groundbreaking of its new indoor practice facility Saturday morning. Construction of the Albert J. Dunlap Athletic Training Facility is scheduled to begin after next week's ACC championship game and the facility is scheduled to be open by August.
THIS AND THAT: Former Alonso High lineman Demonte McAllister tied a career high with five tackles, all in the first half. … The announced attendance of 83,429 was the 15th largest in Doak Campbell Stadium history. … FSU's loss was Fisher's first defeat to one of the Seminoles' in-state rivals. The 'Noles had won their last five games against UF and Miami.
Matt Baker can be reached at email@example.com.