On Friday, Nov. 25, the capital city of Florida hosted their most notorious competition, the Florida Gators. The two teams met for kick-off at 7:30 p.m. in Doak Campbell Stadium. The Noles (8-3) ranked at No. 16 defeated the Gators (6-5) for the first time since 2017 with a score of 45 to 38. The student section showed up in full force, not to mention the stadium was sold out at its maximum capacity of just under 80,000. The students stormed the field at the end of the game, celebrating alongside the players and fireworks. The state was “reclaimed” in this battle according to fans on Twitter.
The team was pictured being welcomed off the busses by fans on Legacy Walk. This is a tradition that the players do every home game, walking from the Heritage Tower Fountain to Gate K in the stadium two and a half hours before kickoff. Tailgates packed every green space in the area and the band played to get people pumped. The city of Tallahassee was packed with Gator and Nole fans alike, but it was evident that FSU had the home-field advantage once everyone crowded into the stadium. It was clear that for UF fans the intimidation factor was undeniable, with the FSU fight song and war chant being played for close to the entirety of the game.
There was a special adjustment made to the usual pre-game traditions inside Doak. This time, Chief Osceola rode mascot Renegade onto the field to then dismount and plant the spear from the ground instead of from atop of the horse. This ties back to the Seminole tribe and their war games. Planting the spear from the ground signified real war while simply planting it from the horse like usual meant the game would soon begin. The action got the crowd excited and ready to cheer on the Noles.
The Seminoles were favored to win the matchup by 10 points according to Bet Online the day before the game. It was a close game, with both teams scoring 14 points in the first quarter. It went back and forth, even having some fans anticipating overtime. Eventually, the Noles pulled ahead and won by a single touchdown. Quarterback Jordan Travis received high praise for his performance; he showed his skills highlighted in this clip from ESPN. The 10-yard run was the No. 1 play on Sports Center the night of the game. Fans even went as far as making t-shirts for Travis, pictured here.
FSU went 2-0 this season against the South Eastern Conference (SEC) and are accredited to two of the SEC’s seven non-conference losses according to Tomahawk Nation. The newfound success by the Seminoles is attributed to head coach Mike Norvell. He reflected on the night, saying “That’s what this game is supposed to be; energy, passion, incredible energy, and all of our fans. That was an unbelievable environment.” With the team extending their winning streak to 5 games, players and coaches are optimistic and excited about playing in the Cheez-It Bowl against Oklahoma on Dec. 29.