Virginia Tech (5)..... 3 0 0 19 - 22 Florida State......... 3 0 24 0 - 27 Scoring Summary: 1nd Quarter 10:30 FSU - Cismesia 31 yd FG 01:12 VT - Pace 45 yd FG 3rd Quarter 13:46 FSU - Reid 83 yd punt return (Cismesia kick) 10:47 FSU - Washington 14 yd run (Cismesia kick) 04:42 FSU - Cismesia 41 yd FG 00:35 FSU - Davis 6 yd pass from Weatherford (Cismesia kick) 4th Quarter 13:29 VT - Morgan 28 yd pass from Vick (Pace kick) 10:57 VT - Vick 4 yd run (Pace kick) 01:45 VT - Vick 1 yd run (Pace kick)
The Florida State Seminoles gave Virginia Tech a dose of their own medicine Saturday night, scoring a special teams touchdown and taking advantage of turnovers and good field position en route to a 27-22 upset of the fifth-ranked Hokies. With the win over Tech, FSU will represent the ACC in a BCS game, likely the Orange. Virginia Tech will play in the Gator Bowl against Louisville on January 2nd.
The loss drops Virginia Tech to 10-2 overall. Florida State, losers of three in a row and four of six heading into the ACC Championship Game, improves to 8-4.
The game was low scoring in the first half. Florida State took a 3-0 lead on their first possession, and Tech would answer later in the half with a field goal of their own. The game was tied 3-3 at halftime and looked like it would remain a defensive struggle. But the Seminoles scored 24 unanswered points in the third quarter and take a 27-3 lead into the fourth. The Hokies made a game of it in the final 15 minutes by scoring three touchdowns, but they were unable to take the lead.
The Hokies dominated many of the game statistics, yet failed to register the win. Tech outgained FSU 376-272 in total yards, and converted 9-of-20 third downs, compared to just 3-of-13 for the Seminoles. Tech picked up 24 first downs, while Florida State gained just 15. The Hokies were also able to control the clock, holding the ball for 35:09 while FSU had the ball for just 24:51.
Tech was never able to establish a running game against FSU. They ran the ball 31 times for just 41 yards. Those numbers include six sacks on quarterback Marcus Vick. Vick was Tech’s leading rusher, carrying the ball 17 times for 11 yards and two touchdowns. Branden Ore and Cedric Humes each had five carries for seven yards.
Marcus Vick was able to get something going in the passing game, especially in the second half. He finished the game 26-of-52 for 335 yards. He threw one touchdown pass and one interception. After the Seminoles got out to a big lead in the second half, Vick was almost able to bring Tech back through the air.
Josh Morgan was Vick’s favorite target during the game. The sophomore receiver caught seven passes for 128 yards and a touchdown. Eddie Royal had four catches for 43 yards, while David Clowney had four receptions for 35 yards. Vick completed passes to nine different receivers.
Aaron Rouse led the Hokies defensively with ten tackles, including one for a loss. Darryl Tapp had four tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack. Vince Hall, who led Tech in tackles during the regular season, finished the game with seven stops. Florida State defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley was dominant at the line of scrimmage, recording four tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.
With the loss, Frank Beamer is now 0-7 in his career against Florida State and Bobby Bowden. The Hokies were 14-point favorites heading into the game, and this was considered Beamer’s best chance to defeat Bowden. However the game ended just like other Tech-FSU games of the past with Tech dominating the box score, but losing the game.
Florida State showed their big play potential on the very first drive of the game. Facing third and ten from their own 30 yard line, quarterback Drew Weatherford found wideout Willie Reid for a 17 yard gain over the middle. On the very next play, Weatherford threw a deep pass down the sideline to 6-6 receiver Greg Carr, who hauled in a 38 yard reception to the Tech 15 despite great coverage by Roland Minor. The Florida State drive would stall on the Hokie 14 yard line, and Gary Cismesia booted a 31 yard field goal to give the Seminoles an early 3-0 lead.
Following the Florida State field goal, both teams were forced to punt on their ensuing possessions. Tech would get their only score of the first half later in the quarter. They started at their own 20 yard line with 7:23 left on the clock. The drive began with a holding penalty on Jason Murphy, and the Hokies were pushed back to their own ten yard line.
The Virginia Tech drive was saved by a Florida State miscue on third down. Vick fired an incomplete pass to Mike Imoh, but the Seminoles were flagged for having too many men on the field. The penalty gave the Hokies 15 yards and a first down at their own 36 yard line. On third and ten, Vick was flushed from the pocket and rolled to his right, firing a deep pass down the sideline to Justin Harper who hauled it in for a 35 yard gain. Tech now had the ball on the FSU 29 yard line.
The Hokies picked up one more first down, but the drive was halted thanks to an illegal block by Eddie Royal and a sack by the Florida State defense. Frank Beamer called on Brandon Pace, who responded with a 45 yard field goal. With 1:12 remaining in the first quarter, the game was tied 3-3.
Tech would mount another scoring threat in the second quarter. Vick completed three consecutive passes, two to David Clowney and one to Cedric Humes, and the Hokies had the ball on the FSU 39 yard line. But Jimmy Martin was called for a false start, Vick was sacked for a 13 yard loss and then committed an intentional grounding penalty on a questionable call, and the drive stalled. With just 18 seconds remaining in the half, Tech went for it on fourth down, but Vick’s deep pass to Josh Morgan was incomplete.
The third quarter started poorly for Virginia Tech. After going three and out on their first series, Nic Schmitt boomed a 49 yard punt to the FSU 17 yard line. Willie Reid fielded the punt, found a seam and returned it 83 yards for a touchdown. With 13:46 left in the third quarter, the Seminoles led 10-7.
Virginia Tech’s next drive was killed by a penalty and a turnover. On third down, Vick rolled to his right and found David Clowney for a 22 yard gain to the 46 yard line, but Jimmy Martin was flagged for being downfield illegally. Vick threw deep on the next play and was intercepted by Pat Watkins on the FSU 44 yard line.
Drew Weatherford began the drive with a six yard completion to wide receiver Fred Rouse. James Anderson made the tackle, but was called for a 15 yard facemasking penalty. After the penalty yardage was walked off, the Seminoles had the ball at the Tech 35 yard line. Weatherford then completed a 21 yard pass to DeCody Fagg, and on the next play Leon Washington rumbled into the end zone from 14 yards out to put FSU up 17-3.
Florida State would later add a field goal following a poor punt by Nic Schmitt. Schmitt shanked a 28 yarder that went out of bounds at Tech’s own 44 yard line. FSU penetrated to the Tech 1 yard line, had a touchdown called back for holding, and eventually settled for a 41 yard field goal. With 4:42 left in the third quarter, Tech now trailed FSU 20-3.
Things were going badly for Virginia Tech in the third quarter, and it would get worse. Vick hit David Clowney on a short pass to the sidelines on the ensuing possession, but Clowney tried to make something out of nothing and fumbled the ball at the Tech 31 yard line. The Seminoles had a short field and they took advantage, with Weatherford hitting wide receiver Chris Davis for a six yard touchdown pass with 35 seconds left in the quarter.
Virginia Tech finally got something going on their next possession. After the drive was kept alive following another Florida State illegal participation penalty, the Hokies were able to move the ball briskly through the air. Vick rushed for a gain of 16 yards to the FSU 28 yard line, and two plays later found Josh Morgan in the back of the end zone for a 28 yard touchdown pass. The Hokies went for the two point conversion, but were unsuccessful. With 13:29 remaining in the game, FSU led 27-9.
Florida State would go three and out on the ensuing possession, and Tech would strike again on their next drive. After an FSU pass interference penalty on third down kept the drive alive, Marcus Vick found Josh Morgan deep down the middle for a 50 yard completion to the Seminole nine yard line. Vick’s next pass was intercepted by Pat Watkins in the end zone, but FSU was flagged for defensive holding, give Tech a first down at the four yard line. Vick scrambled to his right for a four yard touchdown run on the next play. The Hokies went for two points again, but were stopped for the second consecutive time. With 10:57 left in the game, FSU led 27-15.
After several punts, the Hokies got the ball at their own seven yard line with 5:14 remaining in the game. Vick moved the ball briskly down the field, converting three third downs in the process. After a 19 yard pass to Jeff King and a roughing the passer penalty on Florida State, Tech had the ball at the Seminole 19 yard line. Vick competed an 18 yard pass to Eddie Royal and ran it in himself on a quarterback sneak on the very next play. Tech kicked the extra point this time and now trailed just 27-22 with 1:45 left in the game.
But the Hokies were out of timeouts, and they handed Florida State two free first downs on their last drive with personal foul and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on linebacker Vince Hall. Those were the only first downs that Florida State picked up in the fourth quarter. The Hokies were unable to stop the clock at that point and the Seminoles held on for the 27-22 win.
STATISTICS VT FSU ---- ---- First downs 24 15 Rushed-yards 31-41 24-47 Passing yards 335 225 Sacked-yards lost 6-35 1-3 Return yard 108 171 Passes 25-52-1 21-35-0 Punts 7-41.7 8-42.5 Fumbles-lost 4-1 0-0 Penalties-yards 17-143 12-114 Time of possession 35:09 24:51 Att: 72,749 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING-Virginia Tech, Vick 17-11, Royal 1-9, Ore 5-7, Humes 5-7, Imoh 3-4, Brown 0-3. FSU, Booker 7-31, Washington 11-30, Weatherford 2-(-3), Team 4-(-11) PASSING-Virginia Tech, Vick 26-52-335-1. FSU, Weatherford 21-35-225-0. RECEIVING-Virginia Tech, Morgan 7-128, Royal 4-43, Clowney 4-35, King 3-35, Humes 3-34, Kinzer 2-16, Harper 1-35, Allen 1-5, Imoh 1-4. FSU, Reid 5-79, Carr 4-78, Davis 4-21, Carter 2-(-2), Rouse 1-6, Henshaw 1-4, Washington 1-2.