It was all numbers in the ACC Championship, but there was only 1 winner, Florida State.
Ga Tech was impressive the first quarter scoring immediately on their first drive, which was the 7th time this season they have done so. Tech rushed for a 1 yard touchdown by Synjyn Days, which was called under review only to have the ruling stand. FSU answered on their next drive with a Jameis Winston 46 yd pass to Nick O’Leary. The two teams continued scoring on their drives for the remaining of the first quarter. It ended with a score of 14-7, Tech lead.
The second half mirrored the first. Both teams were impressive offensively with their defense unable to stop it. FSU picked up the 2nd quarter scoring first, tying the game at 14-14 with a 1 yd run from freshman RB Dalvin Cook. Tech continued to use their legs, which has garnered them 214 yards in the second half alone; Tech rushed the ball on their first 27 plays. Zach Lansky ran in for a 4 yd run, giving Tech the lead again, 21-14. The game finally shifted in FSU favor with two back to back scoring drives, giving FSU the lead into the half, 28-21.
After halftime, it looked like both teams offensively weren’t able to produce as seen in previous quarters and it seemed that FSU finally found their defense. Tech was the first to answer with a 1 yd rush by Days. FSU didn’t let Tech have the lead for long, not even 3 mins later, FSU kicked a 33 yd field goal. This gave FSU the final lead, 34-28. Tech’s wavering defense couldn’t hold FSU any longer.
The final quarter was all FSU. They seemed to have known they won the game and started playing like the game was over. FSU scored back to back field goals, Roberto Aguayo was perfect all night, his final kick was a 28 yd field goal, sealing the Semioles fate. Tech couldn’t let the Noles leave without one more scoring drive, Thomas threw a 25yd pass to Darren Waller, but it wasn’t enough to take home the trophy. The final score was 37-35.
Tonight both teams made history. Tech scored 35 points which is the most by a losing team in the ACC Championship. Tech also rushed for 331 yards, the second most in an ACC Championship game. The first? Tech in a 2009 against Clemson where they rushed for 333. FSU’s 29 game winning streak is the 2nd longest in this century and Winston is the first QB to have two 300 yd passing games in an ACC title game. The MVP award went to a deserving freshman from Florida State, Dalvin Cook, who had 177 rushing yards, which are the most by a freshman in ACC Championship history and the second highest overall.
Georgia Tech Head Coach, Paul Johnson, spoke to the press following the game and spoke of his disappointment.
“Well, I’m disappointed in the outcome of the game, but I’m awfully proud of the football team. I thought they kept playing. Florida State is a very talented team, and you know, it was the kind of game where you couldn’t make a mistake. I mean, you had to play really clean, and to their credit, they did that, and we missed a couple turns, and we couldn’t make it up. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell, I guess, the way the game went. I felt like we had some opportunities, but we would have had to play pretty close to error free to have won the game”
Only losing by two points to reigning champions, still wasn’t enough for Johnson.
“Well, like I said, I’m disappointed that we didn’t win the game. We had our chances. If we played completely clean, we probably could have had a chance to win the game or at least have a chance to have the ball at the end. You know, you have to give them credit. The bottom line is we didn’t make enough plays to win the game on either side of the ball, really. You know, we’ve had a pretty good little three-game stretch here and probably going to be a four-game stretch.”
Florida State Head Coach, Jimbo Fisher, couldnt have been more happier with his undefeated season and gave the press the full on Jimbo show:
“I’m not worried about being No. 1. We’ll be in the playoff. That’s what matters. That’s an opinion. Ours are facts.”
It seems that the press wanted to discuss the committee placing FSU in a disappointing 4th place. Despite being the only undefeated team, Jimbo had the perfect answer concerning their doubts about his team, he doesn’t even know if they’re qualified.
“You know, I haven’t seen a criteria. I don’t know what the criteria is. I mean, it– I don’t know. You tell me. Anybody know?”
Winston couldn’t dodge the media regarding his allegations. He only stated that he hopes he is able to continue to play.
The selection committee announces Sunday what the playoffs/ranks will be at 12:30pm, let’s see if the committee’s criteria meets Jimbo’s expectations.
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