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Colleges

Cavaliers upset Noles in bizarre finish

Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 21, 2013 at 08:10 AM

TALLAHASSEE — Kevin Parks ran 10 yards for a touchdown with 1:16 left Saturday to give Virginia the lead and Florida State's Dustin Hopkins missed a 42-yard field-goal attempt in the closing seconds as the Cavaliers upset of No. 23 Florida State 14-23 to set up a showdown with intrastate rival Virginia Tech a spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.

Florida State (7-4, 5-3 ACC) got two fortunate breaks on its final drive that gave Hopkins, the ACC's leading scorer, a chance to win it.

A facemask penalty on Virginia' allowed the Seminoles to convert a fourth down and a pass initially ruled complete in bounds that would have killed the clock was overturned by replay and ruled incomplete.

Another Virginia penalty moved Hopkins' kick 5 yards close, but he boomed it wide left with 3 seconds left.

Virginia (8-3, 5-2) snapped Florida State's five-game winning streak with its fourth straight win.

Hopkins, who missed a game-winner last year against North Carolina and then kicked a 55-yard winner the following week to beat Clemson, had kicked a pair of field goals earlier in the game.

It didn't seem to make any difference how many chances Florida State got at the end.

The Seminoles also missed a golden opportunity in the third quarter, failing to score a touchdown after Bert Reed was pulled down by the Cavaliers' Chase Minnifield at the 1 after a 68-yard completion. Florida State settled for Hopkins' second field goal to take a 13-7 lead.

Greg Reid's 35-yard punt return set up Hopkins' 26-yard field goal with 54 seconds left in the half to give the Seminoles a 10-7 lead at halftime.

The Seminoles had tied the game at 7 with 4:49 left in the half when Manuel hit backup tight end Ja'Baris Little on a 1-yard touchdown pass. It was the first career touchdown for Little, who was one of 16 Seminole seniors playing their final game at home.

Virginia capitalized on a Manuel fumble and scored on the first play of the second quarter to grab a 7-0 lead on Michael Rocco's 7-yard pass to Perry Jones. Rocco had completed 9 of his first 12 passes for 107 yards by the time Virginia finished up its 79-yard scoring drive, but he spent most of the rest of the half trying to avoid Brandon Jenkins, who was credited with 2 1-2 sacks in the half.

Manuel was stripped of the ball while being sacked by Billy Schautz and the fumble was recovered by LaRoy Reynolds at the 21. Manuel completed 18 of 31 passes for 200 yards, but was sacked three times.

Rocco was elusive for most of the game, driving Virginia 75 yards on five plays in just 37 seconds for the winning touchdown. The sophomore quarterback completed 22 of 31 passes for 238 yards.

Virginia was the first team this season to keep the Seminoles off the scoreboard in the first quarter.

The Cavaliers, who averaged 187.6 yards rushing a game, managed just 78 against Florida State's run defense, which ranked fourth nationally going into the game.

Virginia, which has won six of its last seven games, had never won in eight previous trips to Tallahassee.

Florida State visits Florida next Saturday in the traditional season finale for both schools.

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