09/14 23:14 CDT No. 25 Virginia barely hangs on, beats Seminoles 31-24
No. 25 Virginia barely hangs on, beats Seminoles 31-24
By HANK KURZ Jr.
AP Sports Writer
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) --- Wayne Taulapapa ran for three touchdowns, the
last 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
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
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
Akers, who ran for just 20 yards in the half, capped the drive by catching a
3-yard pass from Blackman.
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
Virginia trailed much of the night against a maligned FSU team, but the finish
is unlikely to hurt them in the rankings.
Florida State: The Seminoles return home to face Louisville in their ACC home
Virginia: The Cavaliers are at home against next Saturday night to face Old
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