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Virginia Cavaliers stun No. 23 Florida State Seminoles 14-13

TALLAHASSEE — Add another Wide Left to Florida State fans' nightmare list.

After leading for the majority of the game, No. 23 Florida State let it slip away with 1:13 remaining as Virginia drove 75 yards in 37 seconds for the go-ahead touchdown in a 14-13 upset victory on homecoming and senior night at Doak Campbell Stadium.

FSU still had a chance to win, but a last-second 42-yard field goal by Dustin Hopkins sailed outside the left upright.

"Very, very disappointing," Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher said. "We had some great opportunities. That's for sure."

Indeed, the Seminoles (7-4, 5-3 ACC) were given opportunities on their final drive. First, a fourth-down sack of EJ Manuel was negated by a face mask penalty.

Later, after a lengthy replay review, officials ruled a pass to Bert Reed on the right sideline incomplete. The original call was a catch, and because Reed did not get a first down, the clock ran out. (Virginia had left the field and had to return.) Instead, Hopkins set up for a 47-yard field goal with eight seconds left.

Finally, the Cavaliers were called for encroachment, moving the ball up 5 yards.

Hopkins entered the game 5-for-5 on field goals between 40 and 49 yards this season.

But the kick missed.

"That play did not lose the football game," Fisher said. "It was capable of winning the game. But (Hopkins) is our guy. And I'd take him again next week."

The Seminoles appeared to be set to attempt a field goal to extend their 13-7 lead with about four minutes remaining as they had the ball on the Virginia 30. Manuel, though, took a 14-yard sack on third and 11, and FSU was forced to punt.

Virginia QB Michael Rocco made quick work of the Seminoles defense, completing four consecutive passes before Kevin Parks scored on a 10-yard run through the middle of the line. Rocco finished 22-of-31 for 238 yards.

Virginia (8-3, 5-2) hosts Virginia Tech next weekend in a game that will decide who faces Clemson in the ACC championship game.

The Seminoles travel to Gainesville to finish the regular season against Florida.

"Any loss is tough, and we'll find out what we're made of," Fisher said. "If you can't get up to play Florida, there's something wrong."

After Florida State failed to score in the opening quarter for the first time this season, Virginia struck first, capitalizing on the only turnover of the game and driving 82 yards for a touchdown.

The Seminoles had the ball on the Virginia 12, but Manuel dropped back and was hit from his blind side by end Billy Schautz. Linebacker LaRoy Reynolds recovered at the Virginia 18.

Eleven plays later, Rocco found Perry Jones in the left corner of the end zone in between two FSU defenders. Replay upheld the call, and Virginia took a 7-0 lead.

The Seminoles answered with a touchdown of their own midway through the quarter. On the Cavaliers 1, Manuel found senior Ja'Barris Little on a play-action pass for his third career catch (and first touchdown).

Hopkins added a 26-yard field goal to give FSU a 10-7 lead at halftime.

A 68-yard catch by Reed, who caught four passes and moved up to fourth in school history with 168 receptions, moved the ball to the Virginia 1 midway through the third quarter. The Seminoles, who struggled on short-yardage runs throughout, settled for another Hopkins field goal, this one from 21 yards.

That made the score 13-7, which stood until Virginia's final drive.

Virginia 14

23 FSU 13

Virginia Cavaliers stun No. 23 Florida State Seminoles 14-13 11/19/11 [Last modified: Sunday, November 20, 2011 4:48pm]

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