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Jackets Fall Just Short at Florida State

Georgia Tech quarterback Joe Hamilton runs the option Saturday at Florida State (AP Photo/Mark Foley)


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Sept. 11) – A balanced offensive effort by the nation’s No. 1-ranked team overcame perhaps the single greatest offensive performance in Tech football history as top ranked Florida State survived a furious fourth quarter rally by 10th-ranked Georgia Tech and spectacular singular effort by Tech Heisman Trophy hopeful Joe Hamilton to claim an explosive 41-35 win over the Jackets before a Doak Campbell Stadium crowd of 80,187 fans and a split national TV audience on ABC-TV.

The Seminoles were led by quarterback Chris Weinke, who completed 16 of 29 p[asses for 262 yards and three TD’s, flanker Peter Warrick, who had 8 catches for 142 yards and tailback Travis Minor who rushed for 122 yards and a TD on 22 carries.

Tech, which scored its most points ever against the Seminoles, relied on the talents of Hamilton, who completed 22 of 25 passes for a career-high 387 yards and four TD’s. Hamilton also rushed for 18 more yards and a fifth score, tying the school mark for most TDR in a single game set by former Tech standout Eddie McAshan in 1972 vs. Rice.

Hamilton, who did not throw an interception, finished the game completing his last 15 passes. He received plenty of help from Tech receivers Dez White and Kelly Campbell, who each topped the 100-yard mark in receptions, marking only the second time in school history that two Tech receivers each had a 100 or more yards in the same game. White, who had only two catches, but gained 114 yards with them including an 80-yard TD bomb in the first quarter, and Campbell, who had 7 catches for 141 yards and TD scores of 56 and 22 yards, became the first tandem 100-yard receiving tandem since Harvey Middleton and Derrick Steagall turned the trick against Duke in 1997.

Florida State got on the board first in this game as Warrick, lining up as the quarterback in a shotgun formation, scrambled 17 yards to cap a 74-yard drive in six plays and give FSU a 7-0 lead with 4:12 remaining in the opening quarter. Warrick had gotten the march off on the right foot taking a pass from Weinke for 59 yards.

Tech promptly answered on its next offensive play from scrimmage when White got behind the Seminole secondary and outlegged everyone on an 80-yard catch and run play which knotted the score at 7-all with 3:53 remaining in the first quarter.

FSU surged ahead six minutes later when fullback Dan Kendra took a three-yard pass from Weinke for a score which capped an 81-yard, 13-play march and gave the Seminoles a 14-7 advantage with 13:56 remaining in the first half.

Hamilton then tied the score again, tallying from 19 yards out to finish off an 80-yard, 10-play march, most of which came on the ground. Hamilton’s TD, a brilliant run on the option around right end, knotted the game at 14-all with still 9:06 remaining before intermission.

Again Florida State surged ahead less than two minutes later as Minor scored from 18 yards out, capping a 60-yard, five-play march which gave FSU a 21-14 lead with 7:09 remaining in the second quarter.

Once again, the Jackets responded as Hamilton quickly drove the Jackets 80 yards in just four plays, the last, a 56-yard pass play to Campbell for the score with 5:02 remaining in the half. Hamilton and Campbell also connected to start the march with a 21-yard completion on its first play.

FSU finally grabbed a lead it would not relinquish on its next possession, marching 65 yards in nine plays with Weinke tossing a short pass to fullback Jeff Cheney who carried it 29 yards for a touchdown and a 28-21 lead just 1:08 before the half.

Th Seminoles extended their lead on their first drive of the second half, marching 79 yards in eight plays. Weinke found Warrick open behind Tech cornerback Jamara Clark for a 26-yard TD pass play and a 35-21 lead with still 12:25 remaining in the third quarter.

But Tech refused to quit as Hamilton came right back marching Tech 80 yards in 10 plays. Hamilton connected witrh freshman wide receiver Kerry Watkins for an 11-yard TD pass play to trim the advantage to 35-28.

From here, both defenses stiffened. The Seminoles, though, received a 46 yard field goal by Sebastion Janikowski at the 3:08 mark of the third quarter, and a 45-yard field goal by Janikowski with 11:20 remaining in the game to stretch FSU’s advantage to 41-28.

Tech then marched to the FSU 35 before running out of downs after a 57-yard march at the FSU 35. After stopping the Seminoles, though, Tech started out on a 62-yard, nine-play drive which culminated in a 22-yard pass from Hamilton to Campbell for the score which trimmed the score to 41-35 with just 1:35 remaining.

Tech would attempt an onsides kick but FSU’s Minor at the 50-yardline to seal the verdict.

Hamilton’s total offense accumulation of 405 yards was the second-best total in Tech history only to the 412 yards by Darrell Gast against Duke in 1987.He moved into 8th-place on the all-time career total offense list in the ACC.

With the win, FSU moved to 2-0, while Tech with the loss, fell to 1-1.

GEORGIA TECH    7       14      7       7---35FLORIDA STATE   7       21      10      3---41          SCORING SUMMARYFS-Warrick 17 Run (Janikowski Kick),4:12, 1stGT-White 80 Pass from Hamilton (Cornwell Kick), 3:53, 1stFS-Kendra 3 Pass from Weinke (Janikowski Kick), 13:56, 2ndGT-Hamilton 19 Run (Manget Kick), 9:06, 2ndFS-Minor 18 Run (Janikowski Kick), 7:09, 2ndGT-Campbell 56 Pass from Hamilton (Manget Kick), 5:02, 2ndFS-Chaney 29 Pass from Weinke (Janikowski Kick),1:08, 2ndFS-Warrick 26 Pass from Weinke (Janikowski Kick), 13:25, 3rdGT-Watkins 11 Pass from Hamilton (Manget Kick), 7:34, 3rdFS-Janikowski 46 FG 3:08, 3rdFS-Janikowski 45 FG, 11:20, 4thGT-Campbell 22 Pass from Hamilton (Manget Kick), 1:35, 4thATT-80,187                      GT         FSFirst Downs           24         29Rushes-Att-Yds        38-114     43-182Passing Yards         387        262TOTAL OFFENSE         501        444Passes-Cmp-Int        22-25-0    16-29-0                        Punts                 2-40.0     2-48.0Fumbles               3-0        0-0Penalties             13-137     11-96Sacks By              1-12       3-203rd Down Conversions  5-12       8-144th Down Conversions  1-2        0-0    Time of Possession    29:59      30:01LEADING RUSHERS:GT-P. Rogers, 10-49;  Burns, 6-40;  Hamilton 18-18, 1 TD.FS-Minor, 22-122, 1 TD; Warrick, 3-25, 1 TD; Kendra, 7-25.LEADING PASSERSGT--Hamilton, 22-25-0, 387, 4 TD.FS-Weinke, 16-29-0, 262, 3 TD.LEADING RECEIVERSGT-Campbell, 7-141, 2TD; 2-114, 1 TD;  Watkins, 3-43, 1 TD.FS-Warrick, 8-142, 1 TD;  Bell, 2-37; Coles, 2-30.


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