Defense, officiating, offense, or time-keeping: we’re rolling out a vast array of options for you this weekend when it comes to which one, singular play you’d vote as bringing about Florida State’s loss to UVA in Charlottesville on Saturday night. Let’s get right to it, in the order the single plays representative of these facets transpired.
Open the floodgates
The only fourth-down conversion attempt of the game not wiped out by a penalty came in the third quarter, after FSU had extended its lead to 17-10 with a huge 53-yard Ricky Aguayo field goal. The Cavaliers were facing a fourth and two from the Seminoles’ 33, and rather than attempt a long field goal of their own, they went for it, keeping the ball in the hands of their talented quarterback, Bryce Perkins.
The ’Noles got to Perkins behind the line of scrimmage, but his effort and a push from the Wahoo OL carried him well across the line to gain. First down— four plays later: touchdown, and tie game in the fourth quarter.
Florida State answered with a touchdown of its own to regain a lead of 24-17, and on the next Virgina possession, appeared to be in good shape after an incompletion on second and seven brought about third and long in UVA territory. But a phantom holding call on linebacker Dontavious Jackson gave the ’Hoos an automatic first down.
The Wahoos then kept the FSU defense on the field for 10 more plays before scoring what should have been the tying TD. A missed extra point made it 24-23 instead.
Great call, greater miss
After a three-and-out by the ’Nole offense, Virginia did finally gain a 31-24 lead with 2:34 left. But that can be worlds of time for this Seminoles offense. And frankly, they wouldn’t have needed much of it, had QB James Blackman not ridiculously overthrown Tamorrion Terry when the latter had five yards of separation and a sure touchdown after a double-move down the sideline.
Party over (whoops) outta time
Still, UVA penalties and the FSU offense kept moving the ball, working down to the Cavalier 4 with no timeouts and just seconds remaining. But when the clock should have stopped with 7 seconds left, it instead ticked down to 4, and for the reasons we’ve outlined, the rule book prohibited the Seminoles from spiking the ball to stop the clock. A last ditch effort to Cam Akers came up short, and the rest is history.
Yes, we know that every play makes a difference. We also know that momentum is overrated, and any assumption thereof can change on a given play— and that’s why we like to ask these questions occasionally. So if you had to pick just one, which play turned the tide most in favor of Virginia?
What was the single-most important play in FSU’s loss to UVA?
This poll is closed
Perkins’ fourth-down conversion
The defensive holding call on Jackson
Blackman’s overthrow of Terry
The time-keeping blunder