Scores

Final

Virginia Tech 22

(10-2, 7-1 ACC)

Florida State 27

(8-4, 5-3 ACC)

8:00 PM ET, December 3, 2005

Everbank Field, JACKSONVILLE, FL

1 2 3 4 T
VT 3 0 0 1922
FSU 3 0 24 027

Top Performers

Passing: M. Vick (VT) - 335 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: M. Vick (VT) - 17 CAR, 11 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: J. Morgan (VT) - 7 REC, 128 YDS, 1 TD

Florida State pulls off VaTech upset, clinches BCS berth

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- The constant questions. The stinging criticism. The growing cries for change. They're all history.

At least for now.

The Florida State Seminoles are conference champions -- again.

Willie Reid returned a punt 83 yards for a touchdown, the defense continually harassed Marcus Vick and Florida State upset No. 5 Virginia Tech 27-22 Saturday night in the inaugural Atlantic Coast Conference title game.

The Seminoles (8-4) snapped a three-game losing streak -- the program's first since 1983 -- and won the league title for the 12th time in 14 years.

"We're back to normal now," said Reid, who finished with 210 all-purpose yards and was the game's most valuable player. "We're back to Florida State football."

Florida State turned around a disappointing season and earned a Bowl Championship Series berth in the Orange Bowl, where it likely will face No. 4 Penn State.

Bobby Bowden vs. Joe Paterno -- the two winningest coaches in major college football history.

"Does it look like that? I might not show up," Bowden joked.

Few could have envisioned that matchup. Not after Florida State was outscored 89-36 in losses to North Carolina State, Clemson and Florida.

Boosters and fans were calling for Bowden to fire his son and offensive coordinator, Jeff Bowden. Some were even talking about the elder Bowden stepping down after 19 losses in the last five seasons. Others were already looking ahead and guessing how many in a row the team would lose; Florida State hasn't lost four in a row since 1975, the year before Bowden arrived.

The Seminoles may have silenced those groans -- starting with Reid's return, which sparked a 24-point third quarter that broke a 3-3 tie.

"We had to shut up all our critics," Reid said.

Of course, they might have returned in the fourth quarter as the Seminoles conservatively worked the clock while Virginia Tech made a comeback.

Vick led the Hokies (10-2) to consecutive touchdowns in the fourth quarter -- a 29-yard pass to Josh Morgan and then a 4-yard run -- that cut the lead to 27-15. He capped a 93-yard drive with a 1-yard TD run with 1:45 to play that made it 27-22.

But Tech, without any timeouts, failed to recover the onside kick. The Seminoles ran out the clock from there -- and celebrated another ACC title.

Vick was much better than he was against Miami last month, when he threw two interceptions and fumbled four times. He finished 26-of-52 passing for 335 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. He also ran 17 times for 11 yards and two scores.

He certainly gave Florida State a scare, but it was too little, too late.

The Seminoles did too much damage in the decisive third quarter. Virginia Tech went three-and-out to open the second half, and Reid fielded the punt near the sideline, sprinted ahead, cut inside and then juked two players and went nearly untouched into the end zone. Punter Nic Schmitt had a shot at Reid, but his diving, one-armed attempt at a leg tackle was futile.

Vick, who was sacked four times in the first half and six times in the game, threw an interception on the ensuing possession. Florida State's Drew Weatherford completed consecutive passes to Fred Rouse and De'Cody Fagg, then Leon Washington sprinted up the middle for a 14-yard score.

The Seminoles had a 17-3 lead and all the momentum. Players were jumping up and down on the sideline. Florida State's famed War Chant resonated through Alltel Stadium. This looked much more like the confident, borderline cocky, Seminoles who used to run roughshod through the conference.

That changed last year when Virginia Tech and Miami joined the league. The Hokies beat Miami for the ACC title in 2004 and were a double-digit favorite to repeat -- mostly because of the Seminoles' recent struggles.

But Florida State's defense returned to form, making Virginia Tech look a step slow and as helpless as Miami did in a 27-7 victory in Blacksburg last month.

The Hokies backed into the championship game when Georgia Tech upset Miami three weeks ago.

Now, Virginia Tech will either return to Jacksonville and face Louisville in the Gator Bowl or play in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta.

The Hokies might want to avoid return to Alltel Stadium -- especially with all the bad memories.

Florida State piled on two more scores in the third quarter, both of which were set up by good field position. After a 28-yard punt, Weatherford hooked up with Reid for a 41-yard gain that set up a 41-yard field goal by Gary Cismesia.

Receiver David Clowney fumbled following a screen pass on the ensuing drive, and Florida State was in Virginia Tech territory again. Weatherford completed a 22-yard pass to Greg Carr and later hit Chris Davis on a slant pass for a 6-yard score.

Weatherford finished 21-of-35 for 225 yards.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
VT
FSU
1st Downs2415
Total Yards376272
Passing335225
Rushing4147
Penalties17-14312-114
3rd Down Conversions9-203-13
4th Down Conversions0-10-0
Turnovers20
Possession35:0924:51

Passing Leaders

Virginia TechC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTQBR
Vick26/523356.411-
Florida StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTQBR
Weatherf...21/352256.410-

Rushing Leaders

Virginia TechCARYDSAVGTDLG
Vick17110.6216
Royal199.009
Florida StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Booker7314.4015
Washington11302.7114

Receiving Leaders

Virginia TechRECYDSAVGTDLG
Morgan712818.3150
Royal44310.8018
Florida StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Reid57915.8041
Carr47819.5038

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERVTFSU
FG11:34GARY CISMESIA 31 YD FG
Drive info: 9 plays, 67 yards.
03
FG1:12BRANDON PACE 45 YD FG
Drive info: 13 plays, 52 yards.
33
THIRD QUARTERVTFSU
TD13:46WILLIE REID 83 YD PUNT RETURN (GARY CISMESIA KICK)310
TD10:47LEON WASHINGTON 14 YD RUN (GARY CISMESIA KICK)
Drive info: 3 plays, 56 yards.
317
FG4:42GARY CISMESIA 41 YD FG
Drive info: 6 plays, 20 yards.
320
TD0:35CHRIS DAVIS 6 YD PASS FROM DREW WEATHERFORD (GARY CISMESIA KICK)
Drive info: 4 plays, 31 yards.
327
FOURTH QUARTERVTFSU
TD13:29JOSH MORGAN 28 YD PASS FROM MARCUS VICK (FAILED 2PT PASS)
Drive info: 9 plays, 74 yards.
927
TD10:57MARCUS VICK 4 YD RUN (FAILED 2PT PASS)
Drive info: 4 plays, 78 yards.
1527
TD1:45MARCUS VICK 1 YD RUN (BRANDON PACE KICK)
Drive info: 13 plays, 93 yards.
2227