Florida State Wins ACC Championship

By Ryan McCart

The Florida State Seminoles punched their ticket to the Orange Bowl with their win over Georgia Tech in ACC Championship Game. The game wasn’t as easy for FSU as it was expected to be. They won the game with the final score at 21-15 despite the fact that they were two touchdown favorites.

This game was supposed to be a blowout, perhaps best evidenced by the fact that you could buy a ticket to this game for the low price of three dollars. However, this game turned out to be anything but. Georgia Tech’s players, coaches and fans should all hold their heads high, as their team left everything out on that field in Charlotte.

The difference in this game was a simple one, touchdowns. Florida State had three scoring drives and all of them ended in touchdowns. The Yellow Jackets had four scoring drives; one of them was a touchdown while the other three were field goals. If the Jackets had been able to punch the ball into the end zone a couple more times than this article would be about a monumental upset, but instead it’s about a near miss.

Florida State did just enough to win this game. The Seminoles scored all 21 of their points in the first half. The total proved to be enough to win the ACC title, but the game was in doubt in the final minutes of the game. This game couldn’t have instilled the FSU fan base with much confidence heading into the Orange Bowl, considering the fact that their team had a tough time hanging onto the football. The Seminoles turned the ball over three times in this one. Quarterback E.J. Manuel threw an interception and lost a fumble.

However, the Seminoles struggles on offense shouldn’t be blamed on FSU but rather be credited to Georgia Tech’s defense. The Yellow Jackets defense wasn’t good this season, in fact at times they were downright bad, but in this game they played to the best of their ability and it was almost good enough. They were able to keep Manuel in check as he only passed for 134 yards. The only knock on the Tech defense was in the run game. They allowed Florida State, as a team, to run for 194 yards and three touchdowns.

The Georgia Tech offense struggled for most of the night, but their defense gave them a chance to win the game. The offense just couldn’t get it done. The game essentially ended when Tech quarterback Tevin Washington through a pass that was intercepted by Karlos Williams. The Seminoles were then able to go into victory formation and run out the clock.

So, for the second straight year a team from the ACC’s Atlantic Division will represent the conference in the Orange Bowl and this year it is Florida State’s turn. All isn’t lost for Georgia Tech, as they will go to a bowl game despite their losing record (received waiver from NCAA) and their bowl streak will remain intact. This is the first ACC title for Florida State under head coach Jimbo Fisher and his team has made it to the BCS. Maybe, the Seminoles have finally lived up to their potential.

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