Nov. 1, 2008
ATLANTA (AP) – Marcus Sims fumbled into the end zone to end No. 16 Florida State’s comeback hopes in the final minute, and Georgia Tech held on to beat the Seminoles 31-28 on Saturday.
The Yellow Jackets defeated Florida State for the first time since 1975, after going 0-12 against Bobby Bowden and the Seminoles in the ACC.
Cooper Taylor’s hit popped the ball loose and Rashaad Reid recovered it with 45 seconds left. Florida State trailed 31-20 before scoring with 6:04 left and then got the ball back with an interception.
After it was over, Georgia Tech fans poured onto the field from each end zone after the game, finally standing about 30 yards deep in front of their band to celebrate the win, which revived ACC title game hopes for the Yellow Jackets (7-2 overall, 4-2 ACC).
Jonathan Dwyer rushed for 145 yards and scored on runs of 36 and 66 yards for Georgia Tech.
Georgia Tech moved back into first place in the Coastal Division, thanks to Virginia’s loss to Miami. Georgia Tech is one-half game ahead of Miami and Virginia in the division.
Florida State (6-2 overall, 3-2 ACC) ended its four-game winning streak because it couldn’t stop Georgia Tech’s big-play, option attack. Three of Georgia Tech’s four touchdown drives lasted no longer than three plays.
The Yellow Jackets overcame the loss of quarterback Josh Nesbitt to an ankle injury.
Florida State backup D’Vontrey Richardson threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Preston Parker with 6:04 left, and Christian Ponder’s pass to Greg Carr for the 2-point conversion cut Georgia Tech’s lead to 31-28.
Florida State’s Patrick Robinson intercepted a pass from Georgia Tech freshman quarterback Jaybo Shaw with 5:49 left. Jermaine Thomas, who rushed for 130 yards, helped move Florida State into scoring position before Sims’ fumble.
Georgia Tech rushed for 288 yards out of coach Paul Johnson’s spread option offense.
Georgia Tech’s offense stalled after Nesbitt hurt his right ankle midway through the third quarter.
Shaw fumbled on his first play when hit by defensive end Everette Brown. Kendrick Stewart recovered at the Seminoles’ 43, but Florida State gave the ball back when Ponder was stripped by Michael Johnson and Derrick Morgan recovered for the Yellow Jackets.
Dwyer found a big lane between left tackle Andrew Gardner and left guard Joseph Gilbert for his first long touchdown run, and only 30 seconds later Taylor intercepted a pass for Greg Carr deflected by Michael Peterson and returned the ball 28 yards to the Florida State 4.
Greg Smith scored on a pitch two plays later from the 4 for a 24-10 lead.
Florida State recovered to score the final 10 points of the half. A 62-yard run by Thomas set up Ponder’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Seddrick Holloway, and Graham Gano added a 45-yard field goal late in the half.
Michael Ray Garvin had a 64-yard kickoff return in the first quarter to set up Gano’s first field goal before leaving the game with an undisclosed injury.