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How game-clock error led to controversial ending in FSU loss to Virginia

Just another night in the ACC.

Florida State v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

Despite a tumultuous fourth quarter in which the Seminoles were outscored 21-7, the FSU offense was knocking at Virginia’s door with a chance to tie or win after a first-down catch by Keyshawn Helton. At that point the clock should’ve been stopped with 7 seconds left to spot the ball and reset the chains. Instead, it continued to run down.

The mishap comes just a day after another game-clock gaffe in the Wake Forest-North Carolina game, after which the ACC ruled that the referees erred on the final play and should’ve allowed UNC one more second to play.

In the end, Florida State was left with no timeouts, and due to the runoff, not enough time to spike the ball. At that point if the ball would have been spiked, by rule, the game would have been over:

Instead, Florida State’s offense hurried back to the line to run a rushed final play, and you know the rest.