Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Seminoles Lose in Shootout

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Seminoles Lose in Shootout

Article excerpt

Byline: GARRY SMITS

TALLAHASSEE - A graceful, powerful horse and a flaming spear usually provide the drama before Florida State's home football games.

An emotional element was added to that familiar scene Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium, with the Seminoles showing embattled coach Bobby Bowden and 76,292 fans that they had his back.

FSU and No. 22 Georgia Tech then went on to play breathtaking offensive football. However, the Seminoles couldn't outlast the Yellow Jackets enough to give Bowden a badly-needed victory as Georgia Tech won 49-44.

Florida State (2-4, 0-3) lost its third game in a row and fell to Georgia Tech (5-1, 3-1) for the first time in Tallahassee.

The offense was certainly not at fault. Quarterback Christian Ponder completed 26-of-36 for career-highs of 359 yards and five touchdowns, to five receivers. Running back Jermaine Thomas of First Coast High School gained 98 yards and scored a TD running and receiving.

FSU gained 539 total yards and had 26 first downs.

It wasn't enough against Georgia Tech's "flexbone" option attack. FSU's defenders were often hesitant on whether to go after Jackets quarterback Josh Nesbitt (4-of-8 for 131 yards, and 140 yards and three touchdowns rushing), or one of a stable of running backs, led by Jonathan Dwyer (102 yards and two TDs).

The result was 532 total yards and 25 first downs for the Jackets.

After Georgia Tech trailed 35-28 at halftime, Nesbitt threw a 73-yard TD pass to Demaryius Thomas and Marcus Wright scored from 19 yards out in the third quarter. Nesbitt added the clinching 22-yard score with 6:29 remaining to give the Jackets a 49-38 lead.

Florida State fought back with a 13-yard TD pass from Ponder to Rod Owens with 4:14 remaining. A two-point pass was incomplete and FSU failed to recover an onside kick attempt. Tech ran the clock out, with Nesbitt carrying the load.

The first half was a treat for neutral observers and nerve-racking for fans of either team. They combined to score touchdowns on nine consecutive first-half possessions, with the Seminoles eventually leading by seven at the break. …

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