Florida State staged an impressive rally during its 24-21 loss at Florida on Saturday, but the Seminoles' bid for a comeback victory fell short -- in part due to a comical onside kick attempt. With 49 seconds remaining and FSU trailing by three, Seminoles kicker Parker Grothaus barely grazed the top of the football with his right foot, causing it to fall off the tee and allowing Florida to take over and run out the clock.
For the kicking team to be eligible to recover the ball, a kickoff must travel at least 10 yards. Problem here is that the attempt from Grothaus may not have traveled 10 inches. It was a fitting cap to a poorly played rivalry contest between two teams who put their flaws on full display against each other during a cringeworthy game that spanned four hours.
Florida won the game under interim coach Greg Knox -- who stepped in this week after Dan Mullen was fired last Sunday -- and earned bowl eligibility with its sixth win of the season despite committing 13 penalties for 107 yards. Quarterback Emory Jones also threw three interceptions for the Gators, but Florida State wasn't much better as the Seminoles committed nine penalties for 89 yards and rotated through three quarterbacks.
The Seminoles finish coach Mike Norvell's second season just 5-7, making his record so far just 8-12 since he replaced Willie Taggart following the 2019 season. FSU railed from an 0-5 start this season to win five of seven games entering Saturday's rivalry contest. But the near-whiff on an onside kick attempt felt like a fitting end to a season that included a humiliating loss to Jacksonville State.