FSU Avoids Epic Collapse in Charlotte, Beats GT 21-15

Jernigan and the defense save the day. - Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

After a dominant first-half, Florida State, with sloppy play and lackluster effort on offense, looked determined to lose.

Florida State wins the ACC Championship in the ugliest fashion possible. After racing to a 21-6 first half lead, the 'Noles were shut out in the remaining two quarters. Turnovers on offense, two by senior QB EJ Manuel and one from RS freshman Kelvin Benjamin, gave life to a Georgia Tech team that otherwise would have been put away early. One of those turnovers, a fumble by Manuel, took away one of the few opportunities to put points on the board via a field goal.

The defense, in Mark Stoops' final game, saved the game by forcing field goals and only allowing one touchdown drive by a good Georgia Tech offense. The game wasn't over until Karlos Williams made an excellent play on a ball to seal the game with an interception. An improbable win for Tech and an equally horrible loss by FSU was averted.

Player of the game went to James Wilder. However, Mario Edwards Jr should earn, at minimum, honorable mention. He wasn't perfect but did a very good job with starting reps against a good offense. It was an ugly, ugly half of football for Florida State, not putting away another inferior opponent. But this time, against the option, the 'Noles held off Georgia Tech for a trip to the Orange Bowl. The 'Noles will likely face Teddy Bridgewater and the Louisville Cardinals.

Numbers:

Florida State racked up just over 200 yards in the first half. They ended the game with 328.

Florida State was 3 of 8 on 3rd down. Georgia Tech was 4 of 15 however 4 of 4 on 4th down.

Florida State only WR of note: Rashad Greene, 9 receptions for 81 yards.

Wilder ran 69 yards on 10 carries and Freeman added 59 on 13 carries.

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