CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — As soon as he had the chance, Florida State's Greg Reid promised coach Jimbo Fisher that he would make up for fumbling away a punt return.
"If I mess up on one play, I'm going to work hard to make up for it and put my team back in a great situation," he said.
Reid did just that Saturday against Virginia. Just seven plays after he lost the ball at his own 49, negating a 34-yard return, the cornerback came up with an interception at the FSU 4-yard line to stymie a Cavalier drive early in the fourth quarter of FSU's 34-14 win.
"It was just a blessing that it happened," Reid said. "It happened right after."
"He came over after the fumble and said, 'I'll get it back,' " Fisher said. "He made a play."
It was Reid's second interception of the game. The first, which didn't come after a miscue, was in the end zone late in the third quarter. QB Christian Ponder then led the offense to its final touchdown on a drive that included a 38-yard pass to sophomore WR Willie Haulstead.
"They had momentum … and he makes the pick, and we were able to take the ball 80 yards," Fisher said. "We make the big throw and catch with Willie, but Greg ignited that with the big play."
O-Line shuffle: Junior Zebrie Sanders, the Seminoles' starting right tackle for 26 games during his career, including the first four this season, shifted to left tackle to fill in for injured junior Andrew Datko (left shoulder) and match up against Virginia's top defensive end, Cam Johnson.
Meanwhile, redshirt freshman Henry Orelus, who struggled in his second career start a week ago against Wake Forest and was pulled early in the second half in favor of redshirt freshman Garrett Faircloth, started at right tackle.
"On Monday, coach (Rick Trickett) put me there and said I had a big responsibility," said Sanders, who hadn't played on the left side since the 2008 opener against Western Carolina. "It was kind of rough the first couple of days."
Sanders confessed he was uncomfortable in his stance, let alone in executing his assignments, but he said he got it in his head he had to step up; he focused more and felt more comfortable by Saturday. The Cavaliers got some pressure on Ponder (one sack), but Fisher said the new-look line did fairly well and the offense, especially in the first half, looked good.
Busy day: Redshirt freshman DT Demonte McAllister (Alonso High), who bulked up in the offseason to do a better job handling the inside, was in the Virginia backfield a lot. He had a sack and two tackles for a loss. He also broke up a pass.
"I still have that explosive speed," he said.
Numbers game: The Seminoles held Virginia scoreless in the first half, extending their scoreless streak to eight quarters. Virginia finally scored with 11:13 left in the third to end FSU's streak at 124 minutes, 1 second.
Running in place: Junior RB Ty Jones (Middleton High), the Seminoles' leading rusher who sprained his left ankle against Wake Forest, was dressed and warmed up but didn't play. "He was right on the cusp," Fisher said. "So by doing that (holding him out), he ought to be pretty good by next week, I'm hoping."
Injury update: Senior LB Mister Alexander left with a slight concussion, and freshman CB Lamarcus Joyner sprained his left ankle on a kickoff return early in the third quarter.