Thursday, October 22, 2009

Florida State rallies past UNC, 30-27

Quarterback Christian Ponder sparked an improbable comeback as Florida State rebounded from a 16-point, second-half deficit to edge North Carolina 30-27 in the first Thursday night game ever at Kenan Stadium.

Ponder completed 33 of 40 passes for 395 yards as the Seminoles (3-4, 1-3 ACC) won their first conference game of the season. North Carolina (4-3, 0-3) led 24-6 early in the second quarter, but a stunning two-play turnaround lifted Florida State.

With North Carolina in Florida State territory, Jamie Robinson intercepted T.J. Yates near the Seminole goal line. After a penalty backed the ball up to the Florida State 2-yard line, Christian Ponder completed the longest pass ever thrown againist the Tar Heels, a 98-yard throw to Rod Owens.

Florida State won despite committing 16 penalties and will play host to N.C. State on Oct. 31.


In a stunning comeback against a the ACC's best defense, Florida State has overcome a 16-point, second-half deficit to take a 30-27 lead over North Carolina with 6:20 remaining.

Christian Ponder passed 18 yards to a wide-open Beau Reliford for the go-ahead score.


Thanks to a suddenly potent rushing attack, North Carolina finally has interrupted Florida State's streak of 17 straight points and given itself some breathing room.

Casey Barth's 26-yard field goal with 7:27 remaining in the fourth quarter increased the Tar Heels' advantage to 27-23. Despite taking possession on its own 8-yard line, North Carolina drove 83 yards entirely on the ground.

Shaun Draughn carried six times for 49 yards on the drive.


It's a one-point game.

A 40-yard field goal by Dustin Hopkins extended Florida State's scoring streak to 17 straight points and cut North Carolina's lead to 24-23 with 12:12 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Hopkins is 3-for-3 on field goal attempts tonight.


Florida State seemed sunk after North Carolina stretched its lead to 18 points on its opening drive in the third quarter.

But the Seminoles struck back with a 6-yard scoring pass to Taiwan Easterling, an interception by Jamie Robinson and a 98-yard touchdown pass to Rod Owens to draw within 24-20.

As the third quarter ended, Florida State had the ball second-and-2 at the 31-yard line of a Tar Heel defense that suddenly, desperately needed a stop.

Earlier. . .

What a turnaround.

With North Carolina in Florida State territory, T.J. Yates threw his worst pass of the day.

Yates rolled left and threw the ball directly into the hands of Florida State safety Jamie Robinson.

One play later, Christian Ponder hit Rod Owens for the longest touchdown pass ever against the Tar Heels. Owens' 98-yard reception cut North Carolina's lead to 24-20 with 4:41 left in the third quarter.

Earlier. . .

Florida State finally put one in the end zone.

Christian Ponder passed 6 yards to Taiwan Easterling with 6:12 remaining in the third quarter, narrowing the Tar Heels' advantage to 24-13.

After failing to convert its first six third-down opportunities, Florida State was 3-for-3 on third-down on the drive.

Tar Heel tight end Zack Pianalto, who returned after missing four games with a foot injury, lasted just two series before leaving the game with a head injury. He will not return. North Carolina cornerback Jordan Hemby also is unlikely to return because of injury.


On the final play of the first half, Dustin Hopkins kicked a 26-yard field goal for Florida State to narrow North Carolina's lead to 17-6.

Florida State had first-and-goal at the Tar Heels' 3-yard line and seemed to have a golden opportunity to make a dent in North Carolina's advantage because the Seminoles will get the ball first in the second half.

But coach-in-waiting Jimbo Fisher inexplicably called a quarterback bootleg against North Carolina's speedy defense on the goal line. The Tar Heels thumped Christian Ponder for a 6-yard loss, and Florida State had to settle for the field goal.

Florida State has itself to blame for most of its first-half woes. The Seminoles have nine penalties for 70 yards, plus a fumble that led to North Carolina's second touchdown.


With the help of three Florida State penalties, North Carolina has extended its lead.

Casey Barth kicked a 34-yard field goal with 9:30 remaining in the second quarter to make the score 17-3 in the Tar Heels' favor. The drive was 13 plays for 52 yards. The three penalties accounted for 30 of those yards.


North Carolina has equaled its largest first-quarter scoring output of the season and leads Florida State 14-3 after one quarter.

The Tar Heels' offense was ranked last in the ACC in yards and points entering the game, but managed 101 yards on 18 plays.

Earlier. . .

Shortly after one turnover was overturned, North Carolina caused another one.

E.J. Wilson sacked Christian Ponder, Marvin Austin recovered and North Carolina converted with a 13-yard pass from T.J. Yates to tight end Ed Barham. The Tar Heels lead 14-3 with 2:21 remaining in the first quarter.


An officials' replay review overturned a big play by the Tar Heels after a big hit by UNC cornerback Kendric Burney appeared to produce the first turnover of the day with Florida State in Tar Heel territory.

Burney dislodged the ball from Bert Reed as he caught a pass, and Da'Norris Searcy recovered for the Tar Heels. But after a review, the pass was ruled incomplete.

Florida State couldn't move the ball after that, though, and settled for a 48-yard field goal by Dustin Hopkins to trail 7-3 with 5:09 remaining in the first quarter.


Greg Little and North Carolina are off to a fast start against Florida State.

On the opening drive, Little caught three passes for 53 yards, including a 31-yard reception on a fullback pass from Bobby Rome.

Then Little followed a block from tight end Zack Pianalto - who's back from a dislocated foot - for a 5 yard scoring run and a 7-0 Tar Heel lead with 3:30 expired.


Florida State has just kicked off at North Carolina.

Lawrence Taylor has returned for a football game for the first time since his career ended following the 1980 season. Stay tuned here for more live updates.

-- Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

Let's go State !!! Beat those TARHOLES!!

Anonymous said...

I was a Heels fan until tonight. Worst loss in history and all blame goes to Defensive Coordinator (and Coach Davis, for not taking over) for allowing Ponder to throw at an 83% clip and almost 400 yards. Kept with the same scheme the entire second half giving Ponder all the time. Fire the D Coordinator. Although TJ Yates sucks as well, he has very little starting line to help. FSU has more injuries so it should not be an excuse, but the Offense did not lose this one. I may now become one of those who talks smack on UNC football as you cannot give up an 18 point second half lead at home to the worst FSU team in history. RIDICULOUS and I do not want to hear any crap from UNC fans as there is no defense for this loss.

Anonymous said...

WOW. Still in shock this team was ranked just a few weeks ago.

Keep that ACC cellar warm, Heels!

Anonymous said...

Silly Sissies in CH, royal/navy blue is for Duke.

Anonymous said...

It hurts to see this program continue to fail and fail in the most miserable ways. The collapse was stunning. At least our detractors get some satisfaction from this.

Anonymous said...

Last place in the ESPN ACC Power Rankings! How's the rebuilding process going, Butch??