Yel­low Jack­ets shock Semi­noles on blocked field goal re­turn

The Washington Post Sunday - - WASHINGTONPOST.COM/SPORTS - BY PAUL NEW­BERRY

GEORGIA TECH 22, FLORIDA STATE 16

at­lanta — Lance Austin re­turned a blocked field goal 78 yards for a touch­down on the fi­nal play of the game, giv­ing Georgia Tech a stun­ning 22-16 up­set of No. 9 Florida State on Satur­day night.

Roberto Aguayo, one of the most ac­cu­rate kick­ers in the coun­try, at­tempted a 56-yard field goal to win the game for the Semi­noles (6-1, 4-1 At­lantic Coast Con­fer­ence) with 6 sec­onds re­main­ing. But the kick was low, and Pa­trick Gam­ble man­aged to get a hand on it.

While most of the Georgia Tech play­ers cel­e­brated, Austin went back to re­trieve the ball, rolling along in­side the 25-yard line.

At first, he seemed hes­i­tant to pick it up. But then he did, 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 him to win the game for Georgia Tech (3-5, 1-4).

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.

SCOTT CUN­NING­HAM/GETTY IMAGES

Georgia Tech’s Justin Thomas runs for a 60-yard touch­down late in the first half against Florida State.

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