No. 13 FSU holds off Georgia Tech

STEVE REED AP Sports Writer Published:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- James Wilder Jr. ran two touchdowns as No. 13 Florida State held off Georgia Tech 21-15 Saturday night to capture its first Atlantic Coast Conference championship since 2005 and earn a trip to the Orange Bowl.

It was Florida State's 13th ACC title.

The heavily favored Seminoles (11-2) built a 21-6 lead at the half and held on to win, helping to erase some of the sting from last week's 37-26 loss to their bitter rival, No. 4 Florida.

Despite its record, Georgia Tech (6-7) is bowl eligible after receiving a waiver from the NCAA on Thursday.

It looked like Georgia Tech, a two-touchdown underdog, might get blown out, but the game wasn't decided until Karlos Williams intercepted Tevin Washington with less than a minute remaining.

The Yellow Jackets slowed down the Seminoles in the second half and forced two turnovers by quarterback EJ Manuel to get back in the game.

Defensive end Emmanuel Dieke jarred the ball from Manuel's grasp and recovered the loose the fumble in the third quarter.

Washington, who hadn't completed a pass all game, suddenly came alive, hitting Chris Milton for a gain of 18 yards and B.J. Bostic for 32 yards to reach the Florida State 3. Robert Godhigh picked up a critical first down on fourth-and-1 and Washington scored his 19th touchdown of the season on the following play to cut Florida State's lead to 21-15 with 6:27 left in the game.

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson curiously went for 2 and failed, meaning the Seminoles only had to add a field goal to make it a two-possession game.

That didn't happen though as defensive back Jemea Thomas intercepted Manuel's downfield pass to give the Yellow Jackets one last chance with 2:17 left in the game.

But Georgia Tech's last ditch effort ended when Williams intercepted Washington at the Yellow Jackets 44 and returned it to the 4 to seal the victory.

Florida State captured the momentum early.

The Seminoles, who came in with the fourth-best rushing defense in the country, stuffed Georgia Tech on three plays on its first possession setting the tone for the game.

Taking advantage of a shanked punt, the Seminoles took over at the Georgia Tech 42 and scored six plays later as Devonta Freeman took a pitch from Manuel and ran around right end for a 3-yard run. It was Freeman's eighth touchdown of the season and his seventh in the last six games.

Wilder scored on a 16-yard touchdown run and added a 1-yard plunge to make it 21-3 before the Yellow Jackets added a field goal before halftime.

Florida State outgained Georgia Tech 211-141 in the first half.

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher had some concerns about defending Georgia Tech's triple option offense coming into the game.

The Yellow Jackets came in averaging 40 points per game in ACC play this season and 323.3 yards rushing per game, third-best in the country.

But Florida State, led by ACC Defensive Player of the Year Bjoern Werner, swarmed running backs David Sims and Bostic in the first half, repeatedly stuffing the option. Washington didn't complete a pass in the first half and the Yellow Jackets 1 of 7 on third downs.

Georgia Tech played without its leading rusher Orwin Smith, who sat out with an ankle injury. Smith came in averaging 9 yards per carry.

Prior to the game, a 22-year-old man fell off fourth-floor ramp leading to the upper level at Bank of America Stadium and was taken to an area hospital with what authorities called "life-threatening" injuries.

Top 25

No. 7 Kansas St. 42,No. 23 Texas 24

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Collin Klein threw a touchdown pass and ran for two scores and No. 7 Kansas State beat No. 23 Texas for its third conference title in 117 years and a trip to the Fiesta Bowl.

The Wildcats had never played for a conference championship in their last game at home, and had never had a player end the regular season in such close contention for the Heisman Trophy as Klein.

Neither of his main competitors, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel nor Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, played this weekend.

So Klein, a multitalented senior, had the stage all to himself, one last chance to burnish his credentials for what would be Kansas State's first Heisman.

In front of their sixth sellout in seven home games, the Wildcats (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) tied their team record for victories in a season and matched Oklahoma's Big 12 record.

No. 12 Oklahoma 24, TCU 17

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Landry Jones threw for 244 yards and two touchdowns, Damien Williams ran untouched 66 yards for a score and 12th-ranked Oklahoma held on to win at TCU and clinch at least a share of the Big 12 title.

TCU's fourth-down pass to the goal-line in the final minute was well-defended and fell incomplete.

The Sooners (10-2, 8-1 Big 12) won their eighth consecutive Big 12 game since a late-September loss to Kansas State, which played it regular-season finale at home Saturday night against No. 23 Texas. Oklahoma would have the outright title and guaranteed BCS spot if the seventh-ranked Wildcats lose.

Oklahoma, whose only other loss was to No. 1 Notre Dame, is in good shape for the final at-large BCS berth even if K-State wins.

TCU (7-5, 4-5) lost all four of its Big 12 games at home despite winning four on the road.

No. 16 Oregon St. 77, Nicholls St. 3

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Storm Woods ran for two touchdowns in the first quarter and No. 16 Oregon State put up its highest point total ever, routing Nicholls State in a game postponed by Hurricane Isaac.

The Beavers surpassed their 76-0 win over Willamette in 1931.

Oregon State (9-3) started playing its substitutes against the lower-division Colonels in taking a 35-0 halftime lead. Markus Wheaton caught 12 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown and sat out the second half.

Officials from both schools decided to put off the Sept. 1 opener when the storm bore down on the Colonels' campus in Thibodeaux, La.

The Beavers had a complete turnaround from their 3-9 finish last year. Oregon State is possibly headed to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego on Dec. 27, and representatives from that bowl and the Alamo Bowl were in attendance. The team will learn its destination on Sunday.

Baylor 41, No. 24 Oklahoma St. 34

WACO, Texas -- Lache Seastrunk rushed for 178 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, and Nick Florence passed for 296 yards as Baylor beat No. 24 Oklahoma State.

Baylor (7-5, 4-5 Big 12) has won at least seven games in three straight seasons -- the first time the Bears have done that since 1949-51.

Seastrunk's long scoring run gave Baylor a 41-27 lead with 5:11 left in the game.

The sophomore burst through the middle and slowed down about 25 yards shy of the end zone. Seastrunk stumbled into the end zone and was down on the turf before limping off with an apparent right leg injury.

J.W. Walsh rushed for two touchdowns for Oklahoma State (7-5, 5-4).

No. 25 Boise State 27, Nevada 21

RENO, Nev. -- Joe Southwick threw two touchdown passes to lead No. 25 Boise State to a 27-21 victory over Nevada on Saturday, earning the Broncos a share of the Mountain West Conference title and ensuring their nation's best seventh consecutive 10-win season.

D.J. Harper ran for 130 yards for Boise State (10-2, 7-1) and the Broncos' defense put the clamps on a Nevada offense that was averaging 38 points per game.

Stefphon Jefferson ran for 139 yards and a touchdown and Cody Fajardo passed for 203 yards and ran for 81 for the Wolf Pack (7-5, 4-4), who lost four of their last five games after starting the season 6-1.

Matt Miller caught seven passes for 127 yards, including a 52-yard touchdown from Southwick that put Boise ahead late 24-7.

Ohio Colleges

Cincinnati 34, UConn 17

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Brendon Kay threw two touchdown passes to Travis Kelce, and caught one from the big tight end on a trick play as Cincinnati beat Connecticut.

The win gives the Bearcats (9-3) a share of the Big East championship, along with Louisville, Rutgers and Syracuse, all of which ended the season with 5-2 conference records. Cincinnati's two conference losses came to the Cardinals and Scarlet Knights and the Bearcats were not in the running for the conference's Bowl Championship Series bowl berth.

Kelce caught five balls for 69 yards and the two scores. Kay completed 19 of his 29 passes for 245 yards and the two scores.

Chandler Whitmer threw for 264 yards and a touchdown for UConn (5-7, 2-5), before leaving the game with a head injury in the third quarter.

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