CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Karlos Williams' last-minute interception helped Florida State hold off a late rally by Georgia Tech at the 2012 ACC Championship Game here at Bank of America Stadium to earn a 21-15 victory on Saturday night. The victory gave the Seminoles their first conference championship since 2005.
James Wilder ran for two touchdowns in the first half of the ACC Championship Game.
Sophomore Devonta Freeman opened the scoring with a 3-yard touchdown run after receiving an option pitch from quarterback EJ Manuel. James Wilder Jr. added scoring runs of 1 and 16 yards for the Seminoles, who set a new school record for total rushing touchdowns in a single season.
FSU has 37 rushing touchdowns on the season, eclipsing the record of 35 set in 1995.
In an ironic turn, Florida State ran the ball with ease while Tech's vaunted triple option sputtered for much of the first two quarters.
The Seminoles racked up 147 yards on 20 carries (7.4 yards per carry) -- already more than the 143.9 average yards per game Tech's defense allowed coming into the game.
The Yellow Jackets, meanwhile, mustered just 99 rushing yards at the half -- well behind their pace for the season. Their longest play was a 42 yard pass from Vad Lee to Darren Waller that set up the first of two field goals. It was Tech's only passing completion of the first half.
The second half was a different story.
Multiple miscues by Florida State in the second half made it a hand-wringing game down to the final minutes. Florida State had two fumbles and an interception that gave Georgia Tech multiple opportunities to close the gap.
A field goal by Georgia Tech in the third quarter made it 21-9, in favor of the Seminoles.
With 6:27 remaining in the game, Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to close the gap to 21-15.
Florida State would give the Jackets one final shot when Manuel threw a deep interception that gave the Yellow Jackets the ball at their own 15-yard line with 2:17 to go.
The Jackets were making noise, getting near midfield, when the game was ended by Karlos Williams' snagging an interception to seal the 21-15 victory over over the Yellow Jackets with one minute remaining.
Manuel finished the game 16-for-21 for 134 yards passing and threw an interception. He also rushed for 49 yards on 10 carries but also turned it over via a fumble. Kelvin Benjamin committed the other Florida State turnover on the evening, when he fumbled a short reception.
As a team, Florida State rushed for 194 yards on 37 attempts. Wilder Jr. led the Seminoles, and earned MVP honors, with his 10 rush, 69 yard, and two touchdown effort.
With the victory, the Seminoles clinched a spot in the 2013 Orange Bowl, to be played on New Year's Day. The opponent will be announced on Sunday evening.
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