Georgia Tech pulled off one of the most improbable victories of the 2015 season Saturday night, defeating previously unbeaten No. 9 Florida State 22-16 on a blocked kick returned for a touchdown with no time remaining.
Lance Austin recovered the loose ball after the Yellow Jackets blocked Roberto Aguayo's 56-yard field goal try in the final seconds, returning it 78 yards for a touchdown, giving Georgia Tech a win and knocking the undefeated label off Florida State's resume.
"It was our turn, we've had so many that have gone the other way," GT coach Paul Johnson told ESPN after the win. "It's a great opportunity, we've got a top ten team in our house. Go out there an have fun."
The blocked field goal was Aguayo's first career missed fourth-quarter attempt. Had he made the kick, it would have been a career-long.
For his part, FSU coach Jimbo Fisher could only think one thing:
"When there is a blocked kick, you've got to cover," he said, reflecting after Florida State's second loss in the past three seasons. "We talk about that all the time."
As it stands, a Georgia Tech team which had lost five straight beat an FSU unit riding a 28-game ACC winning streak.
If Florida State, which won the national title in 2013 and made the first CFP semis last season, harbors any national title hopes, it'll need lots of help and must win the Nov. 7 ACC showdown opposite No. 6 Clemson (which destroyed Miami 58-0 on Saturday).
"We can't let one loss become two," Fisher said.
For Georgia Tech (3-5), the victory not only ends a five-game losing streak but reinvigorates a team that will still have to battle to keep its 18-year bowl streak alive. The Yellow Jackets have a thin margin of error for a final stretch that includes Virginia, Virginia Tech, Miami and the regular season finale against Georgia. Georgia Tech did not fix many of its apparent issues in this game -- and it did get some help from FSU's self-inflicted setbacks -- but Johnson is right in saying it's about time the Jackets catch some breaks.
Last season, Georgia Tech was apparently done after back-to-back losses to Duke and North Carolina before turning around and winning the Orange Bowl. A New Year's Six bowl game is not in the future for 2015, but thanks to this miraculous finish, a bowl game is still in the cards Johnson, Justin Thomas and this battle-tested Yellow Jackets team.
After the final play, students rushed the field celebrated with the team. Johnson stuck his tongue out at fans after the ridiculous finish. Yellow Jackets were swarming everywhere.
they just showed the replay for the first time and people lost their minds pic.twitter.com/ttLL4EpXaR
— martin rickman (@martinrickman) October 25, 2015
A lot of happy Tech fans for one helluva homecoming. Wow what a game. pic.twitter.com/q7lkLuPWFt
— Roddy Jones (@RoddyJones20) October 25, 2015
Paul Johnson was giving some mixed messages directly after the block. Luckily, the team did not listen and he was able to deliver that tongue wag in celebration.
As you might expect, the internet went absolutely bonkers watching the play live as well.
When your field goal gets blocked and returned for a game-winning TD by some bees. pic.twitter.com/6nGLwFoqYN
— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) October 25, 2015
The rare Tallahassee surrender cobra pic.twitter.com/gqppM13YY0
— Bunkie Perkins (@BunkiePerkins) October 25, 2015
OH NOLE YOU DON'T
— The Solid Verbal (@SolidVerbal) October 25, 2015
*Turns phone off.*
— FSU Football (@FSU_Football) October 25, 2015
I DONE WET MA BRITCHES
— James Hell Brooks (@BobbyBigWheel) October 25, 2015
— Matthew Coca (@MatthewCocaCBS) October 25, 2015
Even Miami fans chipped in on the commentary. I'm assuming this is the only bit of sunshine on a day that started with a 58-0 loss to Clemson.
We lost 58-0 but to see FSU lose this way makes me feel better about life
— John Michaels (@JohnMichaels929) October 25, 2015