Florida State Wins in Thrilling Manner Over Michigan

Seminoles Score Late to Upset Wolverines

Nobody said it was going to be easy.  But Florida State proved last night once again that when they show up to play, they show up to win.

After the ‘Noles were ahead 27-15 at the start of the fourth quarter, the game looked to be in good shape for a Florida State victory.  But that’s why all 60 minutes needs to be played.  Michigan scored 15 unanswered points to pull ahead 30-27 with just 1:57 left in the game.

When Florida State returner Keith Gavin muffed the kickoff and was forced to take it out of the end zone, he turned nothing into something by returning it 66 yards to the Michigan 34-yard-line.  Four plays later, quarterback Deondre Francois found Nyqwan Murray in the back corner of the end zone to put Florida State up 33-30 with 36 seconds left.

Florida State wide receiver Nyqwan Murray catches the game-winning touchdown over Michigan cornerback Jourdan Lewis Friday night at the Orange Bowl. Photo; Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press

All Florida State had to do was kick the extra point so Michigan would have to score at least a touchdown, which seemed simple enough.  Weird things seem to happen in these bowl games and this one was no exception.  The extra point was blocked and Josh Metellus returned it all the way to give Michigan the two points and now Michigan was trailing by only one.

Michigan wasn’t able to gain one yard on their final possession before Wolverine quarterback Wilton Speight was intercepted by Carlos Becker III on 4th and 10.  The last play did appear to have some controversy to it.  Seminoles defensive lineman DeMarcus Walker looked to have jumped offsides just before the ball was snapped and the officials missed it.  Walker put pressure of Speight, forcing him to throw before he was ready and he was picked off.

The Florida State offense started the game strong just like how they ended it.  The Seminoles received the ball to start the game and running back Dalvin Cook capped off a 6-play, 75-yard drive with a touchdown run from two yards out.

Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois hands the ball to running back Dalvin Cook on Friday night during the Orange Bowl. Photo; Alan Diaz/AP

The Florida State defense forced Michigan to punt on their first possession, but Murray went backwards trying to catch the return and fumbled it.  The Wolverines recovered it on the FSU 1-yard-line.  They were unable to get in the end zone, so they had to settle for a field goal.

Florida State responded with a field goal of their own to make it 10-3 halfway through the first quarter.  The score remained that way until just under three minutes left in the quarter where Francois found Murray streaking down the sidelines for a 92-yard touchdown, the longest pass in Orange Bowl history.

Florida State wide receiver Nyqwan Murray out-runs Michigan cornerback Jourdan Lewis for a 92-yard touchdown pass from Deondre Francois Friday evening at the Orange Bowl. Photo; Kirthmon F. Dozier

Both teams swapped field goals before the end of the half, with Florida State leading 20-6.  The Florida State defense came up strong near the goal line again to start the second half, forcing Michigan to kick a field goal after getting the ball down to the FSU 10-yard-line.

Just before the end of the third quarter, FSU was pinned to their own 8-yard-line after a Michigan punt.  Francois scrambled to the right and tried forcing a completion.  He completed the pass to Mike McCray, the problem being, that McCray plays for Michigan.  McCray ran the interception back and dove into the end zone for Michigan’s first touchdown of the evening.  After a failed two-point conversion, Michigan was now trailing 15-27 before the madness in the fourth quarter started.

Wolverine linebacker Mike McCay dives into the end zone after intercepted a pass from Deondre Francois Friday night at the Orange Bowl. Photo; Kirthmon F. Dozier/Detroit Free Press

Florida State ended strong, winning their last five games and finishing with a record of 10-3.  Michigan lost three of the final four games by a combined five points and also finished with a record of 10-3.

Dalvin Cook played very well in what will likely be his last game in a Seminole uniform.  He rushed for 145 yards and had a touchdown for the day.

The Heisman Trophy finalist and defensive star for the Wolverines Jabrill Peppers was unable to suit up due to a bad hamstring.  Michigan also lost star tight end Jake Butt to a knee injury in the second quarter.

Michigan will face the Florida Gators in Arlington, Texas on September 2nd for their first game of the 2017 season.  Florida State opens their 2017 campaign in the newly built dome for the Atlanta Falcons against Alabama.

Greg LaFountain is from a small town in upstate New York called Peru. After graduating high school, Greg enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, serving his country for four years. After the Marines, Greg went to Pensacola State College where he got his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. He then moved to Tampa and enrolled at the University of South Florida where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications. Since graduating from USF, Greg interned with Bucs Blitz, covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Greg joined Genesis in the fall of 2016, covering Florida State Football, the NFL and the UFC.