TALLAHASSEE – Florida State could not stay out its own way on Saturday night as FSU saw its five-game-winning-streak snapped by Virginia. Florida State left plenty of points on the field in the defeat and committed 94 yards worth of penalties. Despite the poor play, Florida State led late into the football game and had a chance to win the game on Dustin Hopkins’ 43-yard-field goal attempt with eight seconds to play. Unfortunately for the Seminoles, the kick was wide left and the Seminoles fell 14-13.
Virginia opened the scoring on the first play of the second quarter as Michael Rocco hit Perry Jones for a seven-yard-touchdown. Down 7-0, Florida State would draw even on a one-yard-touchdown-pass from E.J. Manuel to Ja’Baris Little. The score was the first of senior Little’s career. Hopkins hit a 26-yard-kick to give FSU a 10-7 halftime lead. A 68-yard-pass play to Bert Reed set Florida State up with a first-and-goal from the Virginia one-yard-line, but FSU was forced to settle for a field goal and a 13-7 lead. With less than two minutes to play, Virginia got the ball at its own 25-yard-line. The Cavaliers went 75 yards in five plays capped by 10-yard-touchdown from Kevin Parks to take a 14-13 lead. Virginia looked to have Florida State beat when Manuel was sacked on fourth down, but a facemask call kept the ‘Noles alive. Virginia looked to have beat Florida State again as Reed hauled in a catch near the 26-yard-line, but stayed in bounds and allowed time to expire. After replay concluded that Reed never had possession, FSU got one last chance for a Hopkins’ field goal, but it was no good.
With the loss, Florida State falls to 7-4 while Virginia improves to 8-3. Manuel passed for 200 yards for Florida State; Rocco passed for 238 for Virginia. Reed led all receivers with 104 yards receiving. Florida State finishes ACC play 5-3 and will conclude the year at Florida. Virginia will host Virginia Tech with a birth in the ACC Championship on the line. Saturday’s loss was perhaps the worse performance for Florida State all year long. The Seminoles left so many points on the field and will have to put it behind them to defeat arch-rival Florida.