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Saturday, April 20, 2024
<p>Receiver Van Jefferson hauled in four catches for 92 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's 41-14 win over FSU. </p>

Receiver Van Jefferson hauled in four catches for 92 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's 41-14 win over FSU. 

Van Jefferson took a step in toward the FSU defender on his route, then took a step back out.

He then took a step back in and shook that defender all about. It was as if Jefferson did the Hokey Pokey as that corner turned himself around.

And that’s what it’s all about.

Jefferson was open. Wide open. And quarterback Feleipe Franks found him in front of the end zone with the FSU defender on the floor roughly 15 yards behind to end any shot of the Seminoles making a comeback early in the fourth quarter.

“They say those are the hard catches, but I was zoned in on the ball so much,” Jefferson said. “It just came in right on the pocket. Feleipe threw a great ball.”

Florida’s offense was on full display with plays like this during the Gators’ 41-14 win over FSU at Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday.

A good chunk of the credit goes to Franks. The redshirt sophomore completed 16 of his 26 attempts, good for 254 yards and three touchdowns.

His receivers deserve even more recognition.

Jefferson had 92 yards on four catches, including one on his touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Kadarius Toney and Josh Hammond added two more receptions each, and Hammond tacked on a touchdown off a three-yard pass from Franks.

As impressive as those receivers were, none were better on Saturday than Trevon Grimes. The sophomore wideout came in for the injured Tyrie Cleveland -- who broke his collarbone -- and caught for 118 yards on five passes, fueled by a 54-yard catch-and-run. He also recorded a 22-yard touchdown after Franks scrambled out of the pocket midway through the third quarter.

“(Grimes) goes hard every practice,” Jefferson said. “We knew when Tyrie went down that he would step up and make the plays he needed to make.”

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UF’s running backs rounded out Florida’s offense, making it an efficient dual threat.

Lamical Perine led the way with 129 yards on 13 carries, including a 72-yard run for a touchdown to put the Gators ahead 10-0 in the first quarter.

Jordan Scarlett received the bulk of the carries and ran for 88 yards, but his late touchdown run with under four minutes to go put an exclamation point on Florida’s 27-point win.

“They were going to try stop the run,” UF coach Dan Mullen said. “The good thing about that is if you can get through, there’s nobody left on the back end when they’re playing a lot of zero coverage.”

UF’s strong running game opened the door for some explosive plays. Most of the time, Florida State was playing with no deep safeties in an effort to contain the run.

It paved the way for both Jefferson’s uncovered touchdown and Grimes deep pass. And despite the added pressure upfront, the Gators still ran for 282 yards. Perine averaged 9.9 yards per carry.

“I always run hard all the time,” Scarlett said, “but definitely this rivalry put a little more emphasis on the game of trying to win the game and come out on top.”

Follow Jake Dreilinger on Twitter @DreilingerJake and contact him at

Receiver Van Jefferson hauled in four catches for 92 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's 41-14 win over FSU. 

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