Blocked Field Goal Return Lifts Georgia Tech Over Seminoles

 

 

 

THE FLATS (ramblinwreck.com)- Saturday night might go down as the craziest finish in Georgia Tech football history. Patrick Gamble blocked Roberto Aguayo's 56-yard field goal attempt and Lance Austin raced 78 yards for the game-winning score as Georgia Tech upset No. 9 Florida State, 22-16.

The win snapped Georgia Tech's five-game losing streak as the Yellow Jackets handed Florida State its first ACC loss since Oct. 6, 2012.

"Wow!" said Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson. "What a game, huh?"

What a game, indeed.

Austin hesitated at first, looking like he would let it roll dead. But then he scooped it up, taking off the other way in front of the Georgia Tech bench. He avoided Aguayo's diving attempt, then cut back on the final guy who had a shot at the tackle to win the game for Georgia Tech (3-5, 1-4).

"I go from yelling `get away from it' to `run, run, run,"' Johnson quipped.

On the Florida State sideline, coach Jimbo Fisher stoically removed his headset, clearly shocked at only the second loss in the last three seasons for the Seminoles.

"We did not finish," he said. "I don't know what happened on that last play. We've got to cover it."

The white-clad Georgia Tech fans stormed the field at Bobby Dodd Stadium, celebrating with the players after perhaps the most improbable win in school history.

The fans were still milling around when a replay of the final play, complete with the call by the Yellow Jackets' radio crew, was played on the video board. They cheered wildly as Austin zigzagged down the field all over again on the big screen at the opposite end of the stadium.

In a finish reminiscent of Auburn running back a missed field goal to beat Alabama two seasons ago, Georgia Tech snapped a five-game losing streak and might have knocked Florida State out of the race for the national championship.

The Yellow Jackets also ended Florida State's record-tying streak of 28 straight victories against ACC opponents, a run that dated back to 2012 and matched the Seminoles' streak of winning its first 28 conference games after joining the league in 1992.

Leading 16-13, Florida State had a chance to seal the victory in the fourth quarter as it drove deep into Georgia Tech territory. On third-and-goal from the 10, Everett Golson's deflected pass led to the Seminoles' first offensive turnover of the season - and first turnover of any kind since their first game.

Jamal Golden made the interception in the back of the end zone, an omen of what was to come for the Seminoles.

Justin Thomas, who had a 60-yard touchdown run for the Yellow Jackets after two early interceptions led to 10 points for Florida State, kept the game alive by converting on fourth-and-six from the Georgia Tech 41. The quarterback hit Brad Stewart on a 36-yard pass that set up Harrison Butker's third field goal of the game, a 35-yarder that tied the game with 54 seconds left.

With two timeouts, Florida State still had time to get into field goal range for Aguayo, who had never missed a kick in the fourth quarter. But the Seminoles didn't get quite close enough, forcing him to attempt what would have been the longest kick of his career. He drove it low, looking for distance, and the Seminoles didn't even get to go to overtime.

Austin made sure of that.