<
>

Georgia Tech shakes up ACC with its own version of kick-six vs. Florida State

Georgia Tech upset No. 9 Florida State 22-16 on Saturday night when Lance Austin returned a blocked field goal attempt 78 yards for a touchdown with no time remaining. The victory ends Florida State's ACC winning streak at 28 games and almost assuredly knocks the Seminoles out of College Football Playoff contention.

What the win means for Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets are alive! This team needed so desperately to win a game like this after coming so close against perhaps the most difficult schedule anyone in the ACC has played yet. After losing to Notre Dame, Pitt and North Carolina in heartbreaking fashion, it was simply the Jackets' turn to celebrate. They did it by playing ball control, holding Florida State to just five plays in the third quarter and rendering Dalvin Cook a non-factor in the second half. Yellow Jackets quarterback Justin Thomas also came up with a clutch fourth-down pass that led to a game-tying field goal with 54 seconds remaining. But the blocked field goal for a touchdown will go down as one of the best moments for Georgia Tech in quite some time.

What the loss means for Florida State: The Seminoles had played, and won, so many ugly games this season you thought that might end up catching up to them. Florida State only has itself to blame with its myriad mistakes. The Noles had four trips inside the red zone and ended up with a touchdown, two field goals and an interception in the end zone -- the first one Everett Golson has thrown all season. That turned out to be extremely costly, because it came in the fourth quarter with a chance for the Seminoles to pull away. Instead, they allowed Georgia Tech to hang around for way too long. Crucial penalties in the fourth quarter also hurt, setting up the ill-fated 56-yard field goal attempt. It was Roberto Aguayo's first-ever miss in the fourth quarter. He now has three misses on the season. And now, Florida State is more than likely outside the national championship race for the first time since the 2012 season.

Player of the game: Lance Austin. How could it not be Austin after he picked up the blocked field goal and returned it 78 yards for the winning touchdown? That had to feel particularly good for Georgia Tech, which has struggled on special teams all season. At one point, coach Paul Johnson called his special teams “atrocious.” Not Saturday.

Top play: The blocked field goal, all day.

Stat of the game: 82. Cook managed just 82 yards rushing against one of the worst run defenses in the ACC.