Seminoles smoked by Bulldogs at 90th Capital One Orange Bowl

Seminoles Bulldogs Orange Bowl

Photo by Edwin Garcia


Miami, Florida – The Florida State Seminoles were utterly overwhelmed by the Georgia Bulldogs during the historic 90th edition of the Capital One Orange Bowl. The 63-3 whomping included a few milestones. Georgia’s 42 first-half points are the most in Orange Bowl history since West Virginia’s 49 points in 2012. Georgia is also the first program to score 56 points in back-to-back bowl games. Lastly, per Manny Navarro, this was the biggest bowl game blowout. It’s a triumph of the SEC over the ACC.

After the FSU field goal early in the second quarter, the Bulldogs scored 49 unanswered points dominating every aspect. Georgia churned out 673 yards of total offense going a perfect eight-for-eight in the red zone. The defense, meanwhile, forced four turnovers. Kendall Milton was awarded both Most Outstanding Player and game MVP. Additionally, Milton recorded 9 carries for 104 yards and two touchdowns. Carson Beck completed 13 of 18 passes for 203 yards and two TDs. Gunner Stockton also saw playing time making six of 10 passes for 96 yards and a pair of scores. Dillon Bell led the wideouts with the most targets (7), receptions (5), and yardage (86). Four different receivers caught a touchdown pass.

A total rout

The sixth-ranked Bulldogs won the coin toss electing to defer for the second half. Fifth-ranked Florida State flexed its defensive muscle early pressuring Beck. Patrick Payton made a big stop sacking the quarterback and forcing a fumble. Although Georgia recovered the football, the Bulldogs were turned away. Beck went for it on fourth and three unable to connect with Dillon Bell resulting in a turnover on downs.

Georgia’s second possession was far more successful. Beck hit Bell for the 15-yard completion on third and four. Renewing their drive, Beck found Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint for 16 more yards. Switching to a ground attack, Daijun Edwards rushed for 17 before Milton crossed into the endzone on a 15-yard run. Milton struck again to start the second quarter, recording his second rushing TD giving the Bulldogs a 14-0 advantage.

FSU responded quickly with a 55-yard deep ball from Brock to Kentron Poitier marching to Georgia’s three-yard-line. It’s as close as they’d get. The Seminoles were unable to punch through settling for a 22-yard field goal from Ryan Fitzgerald. The Bulldogs riposted with a four-play strike culminating in yet another rushing TD this time from Edwards. 
It was merely the beginning of their dominance.
Things fell apart for Florida State when Deuce Spann fumbled the following kick return immediately giving the ball back. Gifted excellent field position at FSU’s 27, Georgia converted on one play with its fourth rushing score thanks to Ladd McConkey. The throttling continued as the Bulldogs held a commanding 42-3 lead at halftime. The ‘Noles woes continued in the second half.

Impressions

This was no contest. This so-called game was over the moment Spann fumbled leading to the McConkey TD making it 28-3. Furthermore, two cases were made. Georgia sent a message that the committee made a mistake in selecting one-loss Alabama over them. The Florida State naysayers were ultimately proven right. The Noles definitely don’t belong in this year’s College Football Playoff. FSU is a different team in the Orange Bowl compared to the ACC Championship.

Approximately 24 players decided for various reasons to skip the game. This includes backup QB Tate Rodemaker who hit the portal. Rodemaker was tapped to start in the aftermath of the Jordan Travis injury. Throw in elite wide receiver Keon Coleman who declared for the NFL draft, leading rusher Trey Benson, tight end Jaheim Bell, and wideout Johnny Wilson among others and it becomes crystal clear that the outcome wouldn’t be a happy ending to the Seminoles’ 2023 campaign.

Down to their third-string QB, fourth-string running back Caziah Holmes, backup receivers, and a starting tight end there was just no way. So ends the 90th Orange Bowl between the Seminoles and Bulldogs.

Photo | Edwin Garcia

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