TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said
he had no idea how his 10th-ranked Seminoles managed to beat
Georgia Tech on Saturday night.
"It was like checkers, (and) they were a jump ahead of us,"
Bowden said after his team scored two touchdowns in the final 7:09
for a 14-13 victory. "They did a better job of anticipating what
we were going to do than we did of what they were going to do."
Chris Rix shook off two interceptions to run for one touchdown
and pass for another as the Seminoles avoided becoming Georgia
Tech's second upset victim in as many weeks.
Georgia Tech (1-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) defeated
Auburn 17-3 a week ago and was on the verge of its first ACC
victory in a dozen tries against the Seminoles.
"It hurts," Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey said. "Anytime you
get that kind of effort and come up short, it hurts. There is no
Georgia Tech's P.J. Daniels ran 47 yards for touchdown and Dan Burnett kicked two field goals as the Yellow Jackets built a 13-0
lead midway through the fourth quarter in hopes of pulling off
their second big upset in as many weeks.
Reuben Houston's leaping interception of Rix's pass intended for
Craphonso Thorpe in the end zone snuffed out the Seminoles' first
scoring threat of the game early in the fourth quarter and set up
Daniels' scoring run -- the first touchdown allowed this season by
Dawan Landry's interception of another Rix pass ended Florida
State's first offensive threat of the game early in the third
Rix's 5-yard touchdown pass to P.K. Sam, and Xavier Beitia's
extra point put Florida State ahead with 2:57 left.
"They finally wore us down," Gailey said.
"It ain't over until zero on the clock," Florida State tackle
Darnell Dockett said. "We take this as a lesson learned."
The Seminoles (3-0, 3-0 ACC) averted their first home shutout in
Bowden's 28 seasons when Rix scored on a 3-yard run with 7:09 left
to pull to within 13-7.
"It doesn't seem like we won," Bowden said. "It was 54
minutes of getting beat and 6 minutes of winning."
Georgia Tech freshman quarterback Reggie Ball, who was sacked six times, threw a pass that was intercepted by Pat Watkins at the Seminoles 20 with 29 seconds left to seal the victory.
Florida State allowed Georgia Tech only 69 yards offense and
three first downs in the second half.
The Yellow Jackets had Florida State bamboozled most of the
first half, running 42 plays to only 15 for the Seminoles. Tech had
the ball for 23:06, compared with Florida State's 6:54.
But Georgia Tech lost a great scoring opportunity in the first
quarter when it failed to score on four running plays from the
Florida State 2.
Florida State's lone first down in the half came on a penalty.
Florida State fumbled on the first play of the game, a 16-yard
reverse run by Thorpe that accounted for all but 10 of its yards by
Burnett's field goals -- covering 35 and 45 yards -- gave Georgia
Tech a 6-0 halftime lead as Florida State fans booed the Seminoles
off the field at the break.
The victory leaves Bowden as the winningest coach in ACC play
with 86 career conference victories, one more than former Virginia
coach George Welsh. Florida State is 12-0 against Georgia Tech
since joining the league in 1992.
Bowden, second on the Division I-A victory list, has 335 -- just
two fewer than Penn State's Joe Paterno.