No. 8 Seminoles rally to beat Hokies 28-22
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) E.J. Manuel and No. 8 Florida State had no reason to panic when they got the ball with 2:19 to go needing to score.
That fearlessness might have had a lot to do with Manuel being the one in charge.
The senior quarterback hit Rashad Greene with a slant pass that Greene took 39 yards for a touchdown with 40 seconds to play, and the Seminoles survived a scare to beat Virginia Tech 28-22 on Thursday night.
"Nobody was flustered, nobody was afraid," Manuel said about the drive that followed Virginia Tech's go-ahead field goal. "We all knew what we needed to do. We feel like we're built for things like that, and it showed tonight."
The Seminoles (9-1, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) won their fourth straight and moved within a victory against Maryland on Nov. 17 of securing a spot in the ACC championship game Dec. 1. And they did it in dramatic fashion.
Limited to minus-15 rushing yards for the game, the Seminoles got 7 from James Wilder Jr. on a fourth-and-1 play from their 41 on the final drive, and Manuel, a Virginia Beach native, hit Greg Dent for 13 yards two plays later. After Manuel threw a pass away under pressure, he hit Greene on a short slant against a zone defense and Greene took it all the way.
"It was basic, simple," Manuel said. "Get him the ball, and Rashad did the rest."
Manuel was sacked five times, but finished 25 for 42 for 326 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Greene caught six passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns.
The duo also teamed up late in the first half, after the Hokies had held them to no yards for the first 12 minutes of the second quarter. Manuel led a precise five-play, 71-yard drive to his 25-yard connection with Greene with 48 seconds left.
The Hokies (4-6, 2-4) lost for the fifth time in six games despite holding Florida State to 311 yards, more than 200 below its average, and will have to beat Boston College and Virginia to qualify for a bowl game for the 20th straight year.
"We've experienced some things this year that guys haven't experienced around here in a long time," coach Frank Beamer said.
His team's nation's-best eight-year streak of winning 10 games will end.
Virginia Tech had gone ahead 22-20 on Cody Journell's 21-yard field goal with 2:19 remaining. The kick capped a 52-yard drive that stalled when Logan Thomas ran for 2 yards on third-and-3 from the 6.
"We actually had the perfect play drawn up, but we missed a block," Thomas said. "I probably would have scored."
The Hokies' go-ahead drive came after a stellar defensive series that ended in a safety.
After the Seminoles took over at their 20, Manuel threw incomplete on first down and James Gayle sacked him for a 10-yard loss on second down. A delay of game penalty moved the ball back to the 5 and, when the Seminoles tried running Devonta Freeman to the left, Jack Tyler caught him from behind in the end zone. Freeman tried to throw it, an illegal forward pass, and the safety pulled the Hokies to 20-19.
It also gave them the ball, but when they only managed a field goal, the Seminoles made them pay.
"Thursday night? Virginia Tech? This is what I watched every year and now I've experienced it, and it's crazy," Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner said.
The Seminoles opened a 20-10 lead with a 49-yard touchdown drive after recovering a fumble by Hokies wide receiver Marcus Davis. Manuel completed three passes on the six-play drive, including a 10-yard bullet to Greg Dent in the back of the end zone with 6:53 left in the third quarter.
Virginia Tech replied quickly, driving 80 yards in eight plays. Thomas hit Corey Fuller for 44 and 14 yards on the drive, and ran it in himself from the 5, bulling over several defenders.
The game was delayed for about 10 minutes in the third quarter when Virginia Tech safety Michael Cole was hurt and lay face-down and motionless on the field. As the crowd stood in silence, Cole was taken away by ambulance. The school said he had a neck sprain, but had feeling and movement in his extremities.
The Seminoles arrived with the nation's No. 3 scoring offense, averaging nearly 45 points, but the Hokies neutralized it for the first 27 minutes, allowing just a pair of field goals by Dustin Hopkins. The placekicker finished the night with nine points, leaving his two shy of breaking the NCAA record for points by a kicker. Boise State's Kyle Brotzman had 439.
The Seminoles twice started drives near midfield early, and got nothing out of them. The first ended with Donovan Riley's interception of Manuel's pass at the 1, and the second with a three-and-out punt.
But after Thomas drove Virginia Tech 68 yards for the game's first touchdown, giving the Hokies a 10-6 lead, Manuel and the Seminoles - held to zero yards at that point in the second quarter - clicked.
Manuel hit Kevin Benjamin for 12 and 17 yards, and then Greene beat Kyle Fuller twice - for 22 and 25 yards - to finish a five-play, 71-yard drive in 1:58 to give Florida State a 13-10 lead.
On the Hokies' drive, Thomas connected with Fuller's older brother, Corey, on three third-down plays. The first went for 33 yards on third-and-9, the second for 15 yards on third-and-4 and the last for 4 yards and the touchdown on a perfectly thrown third-and-2 fade to the right corner of the end zone.
Florida State took a 6-3 lead after Tyler Hunter intercepted Thomas' pass at the Hokies 34. Virginia Tech had a chance to tie when it recovered a punt that was fumbled by Hunter at the Seminoles 30 on the next possession, but three plays netted only 4 yards and Journell's 43-yard field goal was wide left.
Follow Hank on twitter at: http://twitter.com/hankkurzjr
Updated November 9, 2012
Dr. Tony Schena joined the show to give insight into what lies ahead for Rob Gronkowski. He said a tough road is in front of the Patriots tight end.
We discuss the improbable win over the Browns and the loss of Rob Gronkowski with Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick on Patriots Monday.
Ninkovich sits in with Mut and Merloni to look back at yesterday’s comeback win against the Browns. Rob also explains the range of emotions the team experienced after Rob Gronkowski suffered a potentially season ending injury.
Eagle checks in to give Grande and Max a perspective on the Brooklyn Nets after they acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett via trade earlier this summer. He breaks down what he thinks the future holds for the Nets after completing this blockbuster deal.
Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell take some time and look back at the history between the Celtics and the Lakers, specifically the legendary rivalry between Magic and Bird. Legendary broadcaster, Ian Eagle, checks in to give the Brooklyn perspective as KG and Paul Pierce settle into their new home. Sean and Max also reveal the behind the scenes details surrounding Max’s famous “I got the ball” moment.
In the first hour of this edition of the Celtics Summer Cooler, Grande and Max analyze the trade that sent Fab Melo out of Boston. Also in this hour, Max sets the story straight about his history with Larry Bird.
It's a baseball round table from the winter meetings in Orlando, Rob Bradford talks with Ian Browne, Scott Lauber, Tim Britton, and Jason Mastrodonato.
Buster joins Mut and Merloni live at the Winter Meetings in Orlando. Buster explains that the market for Stephen Drew has cooled off considerably and executives around the league believe he will return to Boston.
Hazen talks with Mut and Merloni about the on-going offseason process. Mike explains how the Red Sox dove in to free agency immediately after the team’s World Series win. He also explains how the team creates opportunities for young players that are ready to make the jump to the Major League level.
Shawn Thornton joined the show and discussed the teams long layoff leading into their game tomorrow night in Montreal. He told the guys that he anticipates fighting being a part of hockey for years to come.
Lucic joins Danny Picard to talk some hockey after the team’s overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes. Danny asks Lucic about David Krejci’s game winner yesterday and hockey outsiders that are trying to change the game.
Shawn Thornton joined the show fresh off his big night at MSG and talked about his recent goal scoring prowess. Shawn said that no matter who his line mates are he is always going to be a fourth liner.
Our favorite segment of the week, Answer the question Kirk. Today he answered how many sexual partners he has had.
Our departing producer Thom and our new producer Craig took to the scale to see who was bigger.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane. Today the guys discussed the execution of Kim Jong Un's uncle in North Korea.
Jackie MacMullan joins the show to discuss the return of Doc Rivers to Boston and what really happened during the offseason that led to Doc's departure.
Brick joins Mut and Merloni to discuss Shawn Thornton's on ice actions last week against the Penguins and what type of suspension he may be facing.
Mut and Merloni react to Doc Rivers' emotional return to Boston and they discuss the way he left the Celtics.
We debate the hit, and what Shawn Thornton deserves to get and will get for a suspension from the NHL when he faces his discipline hearing on Friday for his K/O hit of the Penguins Brooks Orpik.
We check in with Jack Edwards of NESN and focus on the Bruins, and more specifically Sean Thornton's upcoming discipline hearing for his cheap-shot hit on Brooks Orpik of the Penguins.
We focus on multi-sport athletes in today's four topics at 4PM.
Ryder talks with WEEI.com's Chris Price about the Patriots upcoming game with the Cleveland Browns, and Stevan Ridley's status on the team.
Alex joins the show and gives his thoughts on the Jacoby Ellsbury deal, and what prospects the Red Sox have to fill the hole left in the lineup, or trade pieces to get a player who can fill the void.
John talks to Rob and gets his thoughts on the Yankees signing Jacoby Ellsbury, the Red Sox signing AJ Pierzynski, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia signing with Miami.
No Jenny Dell today, but Mikey's back and we're answering questions bitches!
We answer what you ask... and by we mean Salk, Holley and special guest Jenny Dell of NESN!
Answering questions, its what we do.
Buster joins Mut and Merloni live at the Winter Meetings in Orlando. Buster explains that the market for Stephen Drew has cooled off considerably and executives around the league believe he will return to Boston.More from this show
We discuss the comers and goers for the Red Sox and the rest of MLB with former GM Steve Phillips, now of MLB Radio on Sirius XM.More from this show
Hazen talks with Mut and Merloni about the on-going offseason process. Mike explains how the Red Sox dove in to free agency immediately after the team’s World Series win. He also explains how the team creates opportunities for young players that are ready to make the jump to the Major League level.More from this show
Ho, hum. We're live at the Winter Meetings in Orlando, and it seems like everything of merit was done last week. We still discuss the Sox roster moves and potential for 2014.More from this show