It’s just another day at the office for this year’s Florida State Seminoles squad. The nation’s fourth-ranked squad got off to another slow start.
However, the Seminoles didn’t take the entire half to adjust like it has done numerous times this season. Instead of trailing at halftime yet again, the Seminoles came on strong to post a 28-21 lead against the No. 11 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets after two quarters of play in the ACC Championship Game.
At the start of the contest, it was a different story. The Seminoles defense looked completely lost trying to defend Georgia Tech’s triple-option attack.
The Yellow Jackets easily moved the ball without even throwing it once. In fact, Paul Johnson‘s offense ran the ball 26 straight times and the first pass didn’t occur until the second quarter.
The heavy dose of the run game didn’t slow Georgia Tech in the least. They scored a touchdown during their first three drives of the game.
Georgia Tech finished the first half with 214 rushing yards. And it won’t be an easier to stop the Yellow Jackets in the second half after Florida State’s most-talented defensive lineman, Eddie Goldman, was forced to leave the game due to a leg injury.
Florida State might not have been clicking on a cylinders on defense, but it’s offense proved to be unstoppable. The Seminoles had four possessions in the first half. They scored all four times.
Like Georgia Tech, the Seminoles had their way when they decided to run the football.
Florida State’s offensive line dominated the Yellow Jackets’ defensive line at the point of attack. Freshman running back Dalvin Cook ran wild and led all rushers with 99 yards.
Unlike Georgia Tech, Florida State proved to be explosive throwing the football.
Quarterback Jameis Winston made the Yellow Jackets secondary pay during two breakdowns in coverage. Tight end Nick O’Leary and wide receiver Rashad Greene both grabbed touchdown receptions of over 40 yards with no Georgia Tech defender within 15 yards of them.
Winston sat in the pocket without fear of being touched and completed 12-of-17 passes for 222 yards and three touchdowns. The final touchdown came with 30 seconds left in the second quarter when Winston found Greene open for their second scoring connection of the evening.
The second half now becomes a beauty contest for Florida State. It isn’t simply about winning to maintain a spot among the top four teams. The No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes are absolutely crushing the No. 13 Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten Championship Game. The No. 3 TCU Horned Frogs already won big earlier in the day. And the No. 6 Baylor Bears hold a two-score lead over the No. 9 Kansas State Wildcats in the third quarter.
Florida State needs to prove they are one of the best teams in the nation with a strong second-half effort to win the ACC Championship Game.