Inside the box score: FSU loses nail-biter at Virginia

The penalties added up on both sides of the ball in the fourth quarter. Virginia tried to give Florida State chance after chance to tie the game with penalties, nearly 60 yards of them, before the Seminoles came up short on the goal line.

In similar fashion, on a similar direct snap, to the stop of Warrick Dunn on the goal line in a 1995 loss at Virginia.

Cam Akers was stopped, again on a direct snap, and was well short of the goal line in a 31-24 defeat. FSU falls to 1-2, 0-1 ACC.

Some key stats from Saturday:

James Blackman completed 22 of 37 passes for 234 yards. Blackman connected with Cam Akers, Gabe Nabers and Keyshawn Helton on touchdown passes. And while he didn’t have any interceptions, there are a few passes he would like to have back. One in particular came when he overshot Tamorrion Terry who had beaten Virginia corner Bryce Hall on the final drive. A touchdown there would have tied the game at 31.

Cam Akers ran 18 times for 79 yards. Khalan Laborn had a 36-yard run. But FSU finished with some sacks and negative-rushing plays and had just 95 rushing yards on 29 carries (just 3.3 yards per rush).

A week after FSU coach Willie Taggart lamented penalties and turnovers, the Seminoles were half listening. FSU committed 10 penalties, some of them very costly personal fouls that allowed Virginia to sustain drives. But the Seminoles did protect the ball well, not turning it over.

Nabers scored his second touchdown of the season, this one on a 10-yard reception. It was another big play for a forgotten man at tight end.

Akers now has five touchdowns this season – three rushing and two receiving.

FSU had third-and-long on four occasions in the first quarter and only converted once. The Seminoles finished 7 of 16 on third-down plays.

The FSU defense bent at times but was able to limit the rushing damage by dual-threat quarterback Bryce Perkins. He was held to 46 yards on 12 carries and was mostly kept in check. There were a few exceptions, notably a zig-zag, east-west two-point conversion run.

Perkins completed 30 of 41 passes for 295 yards and tossed a pair of interceptions, with Levonta Taylor and Asante Samuel each grabbing one.

FSU’s defense forced four punts, picked off two passes and allowed a touchdown and field goal on Virginia’s first eight drives. The Cavaliers then generated touchdowns on their last three drives (75, 75 and 72 yards).

FSU’s defense faced 73 plays.

Wayne Taulapapa had three touchdown runs for the Cavaliers.


D.J. Matthews did not travel with the team, by coach Willie Taggart’s decision.

Defensive end/outside linebacker Joshua Kaindoh was carted off with an ankle injury midway through the second quarter. Kaindoh had been limited due to a hamstring injury throughout the preseason and the first two weeks of FSU’s season.

Ricky Aguayo made a 53-yard field-goal attempt in the third quarter, tying his career high. That kick gave the Seminoles a 17-10 lead. Aguayo’s points were the first for FSU in the third quarter this season.

FSU vs. Virginia drew a crowd of 57,826, the most to see a game in Charlottesville since 2015.


  1. Christopher Holder Reply

    We sure let this one slip away, the ACC refs leaved up to the hype, right North Carolina?

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