CricInfo – By Dan Shaughnessy and Matt L. RossThe first time Florida State faced Florida was in the 2012 Orange Bowl.
It was a 21-17 win.
A year later, the Seminoles took a 30-23 lead with 3:18 left in the fourth quarter.
The game was on national television.
The Seminoles were undefeated in conference play that season, going 7-0 and claiming a bowl bid for the first time since 2003.
The Seminoles went on to beat the Gators 21-13 in Tallahassee, earning a national title.
The Gator State team has been a perennial contender for a national championship for years.
In 2015, they defeated Texas A&M in a rematch of the Orange Bowl in Tuscaloosa.
They also defeated LSU in the Peach Bowl.
They are in a similar situation now.
They face No. 10 Florida in the opener of the Gate Bowl, scheduled for Dec. 2.
The Gator defense is led by defensive end Shaq Lawson, who had 20 tackles in a 31-17 loss to the Aggies last year.
The Gators also have a pair of top-10 recruits in defensive end Malik McDowell and offensive lineman Alex Barrett.
The 6-foot-5 McDowell has 11.5 tackles for loss, and the 6-1 Barrett has 7.5 sacks.
The Gators are coming off a 35-30 loss to Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship game.
They fell to Stanford and Alabama in the Rose Bowl, but they beat Florida in their first bowl game since 2011.
The only other loss by Florida was to No. 1 USC in the 2014 Orange Bowl, which ended in a 27-17 victory.
Florida State is coming off its most impressive bowl game in decades.
In 2012, it defeated No. 3 Ohio State 34-17 in the Orange.
In 2013, it upset No. 8 LSU 41-17 at home.
The Gators are 5-0 in bowl games since 2011, winning three and losing one.