Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

By Inches, Virginia Shocks No. 2-Ranked Florida State

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

By Inches, Virginia Shocks No. 2-Ranked Florida State

Article excerpt

Four seconds from one of the biggest victories in Virginia football history, Tiki Barber couldn't look.

"I was saying to myself, `I can't watch it happen again,' and it didn't," Barber said Thursday night. "God was on our side this time."

Virginia withstood a last-gasp rally by Florida State, stopping Warrick Dunn inches from the goal line with no time left for a stunning 33-28 victory over the second-ranked Seminoles before an inspired crowd at Scott Stadium.

After last-play losses at Michigan and Texas earlier this season, even coach George Welsh said he had a bad feeling as the Seminoles' Danny Kanell brought his team to the line with four seconds left.

Only four teams, including 24th-ranked Virginia this year, have lost twice in a season on the last play of a game, and it's never happened to a team three times.

"I thought we were going to lose it," Welsh said. "I thought, `Oh my God. Here we go again.' "

The final snap went directly to Dunn at the 6-yard line, but Anthony Poindexter and Adrian Burnim stopped him inches from the goal line, setting off a wild celebration by the normally demure Charlottesville crowd. Within minutes, the field was covered with fans, and the goal posts were carried off into the night.

"I can't absorb it all right now," Welsh said. "I'm just so happy for those kids. They've been through so much adversity."

The Cavaliers (7-3 overall, 6-1 ACC) ended Florida State's 29-game winning streak in the Atlantic Coast Conference, as well as its national title hopes.

"The national championship thing sorts itself out. Tonight, it sorted us out," said Bobby Bowden, head coach of the Seminoles (7-1, 5-1).

Barber, who took a back seat to Dunn in the pregame hype, finished with 311 all-purpose yards and scored two touchdowns. He ran for a career-best 193 yards, caught three passes for 45 yards and returned six punts for 73 yards. …

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