Saturday, December 1, 2012
Instant analysis: FSU 21, Georgia Tech 15
By Andrea Adelson
No. 13 Florida State held off a late push from Georgia Tech to win the ACC championship game 21-15 on Saturday night in Charlotte, N.C. Here is a quick look at how it happened:
It was over when: You did not step into an NC State time warp, Florida State fans. The Seminoles found themselves in a dogfight with the Yellow Jackets after cruising to a 21-6 halftime lead. The Noles did not score again on a defense that ranks No. 10 in the ACC in scoring D. You remember the last time FSU was scoreless in a half: the loss to the Wolfpack. Georgia Tech threatened to pull the major upset, after Jemea Thomas intercepted EJ Manuel with 2:17 to go. But the Jackets do not have a prolific quarterback like Mike Glennon, and Tevin Washington could not deliver. Karlos Williams sealed the game with an interception to give Florida State its first ACC championship since 2005.
Game ball goes to: Safety Karlos Williams. What a momentous time for Williams to intercept the first pass of his career. His incredible play allowed the Seminoles to hold on for the victory.
Stat of the game: 194-183. This is not a typo -- the Seminoles outrushed one of the most prolific rushing offenses in the country. Running back James Wilder Jr. ended up being selected game MVP after rushing for 69 yards and two touchdowns. Florida State won this game in large measure because of the way it was able to shut down the triple-option.
Second guessing: Interestingly, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson had Washington in the game for the final drive -- even though Vad Lee has the much stronger arm. In fact, Washington played a large portion of the game. And in the end, it was Washington who threw the game-ending interception.
What it means: Florida State is headed to the Orange Bowl, and its most likely opponent is Louisville -- a future Atlantic Division rival. Georgia Tech got its bowl waiver and could end up in the Hyundai Sun Bowl.