Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FSU's Samuels Wrecks Tech

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FSU's Samuels Wrecks Tech

Article excerpt

Byline: Bob Thomas, Times-Union sports writer

ATLANTA -- With skyscapers towering above Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium, Florida State cornerback Stanford Samuels couldn't have picked a better setting to climb from the doghouse to the penthouse.

Suspended last week for an undisclosed violation of team rules, Samuels came off the bench to contribute an 82-yard interception return for a touchdown, then sealed 17th-ranked Seminoles' 21-13 victory by intercepting an A.J. Suggs pass in the end zone with 17 seconds remaining.

Samuels' thefts made amends for an earlier miscue, when he was beaten by Levon Thomas on a 20-yard first-quarter touchdown.

"I just got out of the doghouse as far as the suspension and I put myself right back in the doghouse with the touchdown pass," Samuels said. "I hope I stay in the doghouse if I'm going to play like that."

Trailing 7-0, the Seminoles were in jeopardy of falling two touchdowns behind for the second week in a row when Samuels jumped a sideline pass route intended for Jonathan Smith at the FSU 18. Samuels broke Suggs' tackle attempt at the 45 and followed a convoy of FSU blockers into the end zone.

"I couldn't go down," Samuels said. "I had given up a touchdown already. . . . I needed this. You know how Coach [Mickey] Andrews is; he's a tough cookie to deal with. He'll be a little better to deal with after this kind of performance; not just by myself, but all the corners."

Xavier Beitia tacked on the game-tying score and the 'Noles went on top to stay when quarterback Adrian McPherson hit wide receiver Craphonso Thorpe in stride for a 72-yard touchdown pass on the ensuing possession.

The Yellow Jackets (6-4, 3-4 ACC) spent the rest of the afternoon unsuccessfully playing catch-up against an FSU defense that held them to 123 second-half yards, and won despite a 10-minute disparity in time of possession.

Cornerback Leroy Smith, starting in Samuels place, broke up a pair of passes in the end zone. Backup corner Bryant McFadden thwarted a late fourth quarter drive with a fourth-down of wide receiver Will Glover at the FSU 21. …

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