Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Florida State Seminoles

No. 25 Virginia barely hangs on, beats Seminoles 31-24

Florida State is in the red zone at the end of the game but can’t capitalize.
Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins (3) celebrates 2-point conversion with wide receiver Terrell Chatman (9) during the team's NCAA college football game against Florida State in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. Virginia won 31-24. [ANDREW SHURTLEFF | AP]
Published Sep. 15

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Wayne Taulapapa ran for two touchdowns, the second with 2:34 remaining, and No. 25 Virginia hung on, barely, to beat Florida State 31-24 on Saturday night.

The Cavaliers (3-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed for much of the night and looked to have blown their chance when Brian Delaney missed a tying extra point with 6:02 to play. A three-and-out by the Seminoles and a six-play, 72-yard Virginia drive capped by Taulapapa’s 2-yard run gave them the lead. The Cavaliers went for two and Bryce Perkins was intent on passing, but when the Seminoles applied pressure in the backfield, he scrambled away from it and finally slithered through the defense and converted for the points.

The Seminoles (1-2, 0-1) drove to the Virginia 4 for the final play of the game, helped by four 15-yard penalty calls against the Cavaliers, but with no timeouts remaining and both teams scrambling to line up, a run attempt by Cam Akers that just beat the final gun was stopped when De’Vante Cross slowed him and Bryce Hall finished him off. The play was reminiscent of one 24 years ago when Virginia stopped Warrick Dunn inches from the end zone on the final play for a 33-28 Cavaliers’ victory that ended the Seminoles’ 29-game ACC winning streak.

Virginia improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2005, and fans stormed the field after the frenetic final few plays.

With the game tied at 17, Blackman hit Tamorrion Terry for 17 yards on third-and-10 from the FSU 25, and the Seminoles went up-tempo. Blackman hit Tre McKitty for 30 yards on the next play, three runs by Cam Akers netted 11 yards and Blackman hit Keyshawn Helton for a 17-yard touchdown to put them ahead 24-17.

Perkins completed all nine attempts for 67 yards — the last a 12-yard score to Joe Reed — in a 75-play drive to pull Virginia even at 17 with 14:15 left.

The Seminoles turned a shanked punt by Nash Griffin into a three-play, 39-yard touchdown drive, Blackman hitting Gabe Nabers for the last 10 yards. Virginia responded by going 75 yards in six plays to Wayne Taulpapa’s 3-yard scoring run to lead 10-7, but Florida State drove 87 yards just before halftime to lead 14-10.

Akers, who ran for just 20 yards in the half, capped the drive by catching a 3-yard pass from Blackman.

Takeaways

Florida State: Rumors of the Seminoles’ demise are exaggerated. Blackman played well after a slow start, and the maligned defense was solid until late in the game when the Florida State offense did a quick three-and-out between two Cavaliers scoring drives.

Virginia: The Cavaliers have often flinched when faced with adversity — or possible prosperity — in recent years, but with Perkins showing poise and the defense doing exactly what the team needed following the missed extra point, the new standard that coach Bronco Mendenhall has tried to instill seems to be taking hold.

Up next

Florida State: The Seminoles return home to face Louisville in their ACC home opener.

Virginia: The Cavaliers are at home against next Saturday night to face Old Dominion.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Clemson's Isaiah Simmons tackles Florida State quarterback Alex Hornibrook, causing a fumble during the first half of Saturday's game in Clemson, S.C. RICHARD SHIRO  |  AP
    The Tigers beat the Seminoles for the fifth straight year, this time in a 45-14 romp.
  2. Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher walks the sideline against Arkansas on Sept. 28 in Arlington, Texas. Texas A&M won 31-27. RON JENKINS  |  AP
    Plus more national nuggets, including a bright spot for Lovie Smith’s Illini.
  3. Florida Gators defensive back CJ Henderson (1) wags his finger after breaking up a pass intended for Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Jeff Thomas during the season opener. MONICA HERNDON  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Matt Baker: A running back duel at Clemson and why Jordan Cronkrite could be in for another big day for USF. Plus, Tampa Bay Times staff picks for week 7.
  4. There's nothing quite like playing at LSU's Tiger Stadium at night. JONATHAN BACHMAN  |  AP
    How does Clemson’s Death Valley compare to the one at LSU?
  5. Virginia running back Deshawn McClease (33) scores the winning touchdown during the second half against Miami on Saturday in Miami Gardens. LYNNE SLADKY  |  AP
    The Hurricanes, who trailed by 28 at one point, score three touchdowns in less then four minutes to tie.
  6. Florida State Seminoles coach Willie Taggart hugs wide receiver Keyshawn Helton as they celebrate after a beating N.C. State on Saturday. MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP
    “If they can profit from their likeness, I think that’s fair," FSU football coach Willie Taggart said last week.
  7. Florida State head coach Willie Taggart and his players celebrate their 31-13 defeat of North Carolina State in an NCAA college football game in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser) MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP
    “We made another step in the right direction,” Willie Taggart said. There’s a long way to go still, but they’re getting somewhere.
  8. N.C. State quarterback Bailey Hockman (16) throws against Florida State in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Tallahassee. MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP
    The Seminoles’ offensive line recorded another new low Saturday.
  9. Florida State quarterback Alex Hornibrook (12) throws in the first half of an NCAA college football game against North Carolina State in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Sept. 28. MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP
    The Wisconsin grad transfer threw for a career-high 312 yards in FSU’s 31-13 win over North Carolina State.
  10. Florida State running back Cam Akers (3) heads toward the goal line in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Louisville on Sept. 21, 2019. MARK WALLHEISER  |  AP
    Also to watch during this weekend’s state college football matchups: a key player if USF hopes to slow down SMU’s offense. Plus: Tampa Bay Times week 5 picks.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement