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Bulldogs take big bite out of Seminoles in 63-3 Orange Bowl rout

Georgia sets Orange Bowl record for margin of victory, hands Florida State most lopsided loss ever
Georgia Bulldogs running back Kendall Milton scores 5-yard TD in second quarter of Orange Bowl vs. Florida State Seminoles, Dec. 30, 2023
Posted at 7:36 PM, Dec 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-30 22:52:42-05

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Florida State didn't want to be at the Orange Bowl. If the score was any indication, Florida State fans who showed up at Hard Rock Stadium to support their shorthanded Seminoles likely didn't want to be there either.

No. 6 Georgia (13-1, No. 6 College Football Playoff rankings) jumped out to an early 14-0 lead and led by 39 points at halftime as the Bulldogs steamrolled the Seminoles 63-3 on Saturday, ending Florida State's 19-game winning streak and spoiling its slim hopes for a split national championship.

Down more than two dozen players because of either injuries, opt-outs or transfers, No. 4 Florida State (13-1, No. 5 CFP) had no real shot of competing with the Bulldogs, whose 29-game winning streak had been snapped by playoff-bound Alabama in the Southeastern Conference Championship game.

Whereas the Seminoles seemed to pack it in after being denied of a spot in the College Football Playoff, the Bulldogs appeared to be playing to prove a point – that they were one of the four best teams in the country.

Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart and running back Kendall Milton celebrate after winning Orange Bowl, Dec. 30, 2023
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart and running back Kendall Milton, who was MVP of the game, celebrate after defeating Florida State in the Orange Bowl, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

The Bulldogs scored nine total touchdowns – five rushing and four more through the air – and were never threatened, even when the Seminoles got their only points of the game after reaching the Georgia 3-yard line.

Florida State head coach Mike Norvell said after the game that it was a "very difficult" month for his Seminoles but that it shouldn't take away from all they accomplished during the season.

"I take full ownership for all things that happened there on that field tonight," Norvell said.

Georgia quarterback and Florida native Carson Beck completed 13 of 18 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns before yielding to Gunner Stockton, who threw two more touchdown passes.

Orange Bowl MVP Kendall Milton scored the first two touchdowns of the game and led the Bulldogs in rushing with nine carries for 104 yards.

Georgia Bulldogs running back Kendall Milton scores 15-yard TD run in first quarter of Orange Bowl vs. Florida State Seminoles, Dec. 30, 2023
Georgia running back Kendall Milton runs for a 15-yard touchdown in the first quarter of the Orange Bowl against Florida State, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

The closest Florida State came to making it a game was on its fourth possession when Miami native Kentron Portier had a 17-yard catch for a first down, followed by a 55-yard catch that put the Seminoles at Georgia's 3. But Florida State's offense couldn't cross the goal line, and the Seminoles settled for a 22-yard field goal by Ryan Fitzgerald.

Not even an injured Jordan Travis, who stood on the sideline in crutches, could inspire these Seminoles to overcome the onslaught that Georgia dealt. Travis, who was a standout at the Benjamin School before becoming the star quarterback for the Seminoles, was among those unable to play in the Orange Bowl after a graphic leg injury in the penultimate regular-season game, but he traveled with the team for road wins at Florida and the Atlantic Coast Conference title game.

Florida State Seminoles QB Jordan Travis on crutches before Orange Bowl, Dec. 30, 2023

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True freshman Brock Glenn got the nod for the Seminoles, finishing 9 of 26 for 139 yards and two interceptions.

Glenn – making just his second start – said having Travis on the sideline was to his benefit.

"He was in my ear, constantly giving me encouragement, constantly giving me advice, and he's helped me tremendously," Glenn said.

WATCH: Brock Glenn, Mike Norvell discuss impact of Jordan Travis

Brock Glenn, Mike Norvell discuss impact of Jordan Travis

Georgia's 39-point halftime lead set an Orange Bowl record.

The 60-point defeat was Florida State's most lopsided loss in school history. It was also the largest margin of victory in Orange Bowl history.

"Even though tonight was a disappointing result, this is a special season that will be remembered in Florida State history," Norvell said.