Florida State beats MI in Orange Bowl with bonkers final 2 minutes


Aided by a targeting call after a Florida State punt, quarterback Wilton Speight led the Wolverines 37 yards in seven plays, capping it with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Khalid Hill for the first offensive touchdown of the night. He was able to slowly walk off the field, but went directly into the locker room and did not return to the field.

MI got the ball back but was racing against the clock, and Speight was intercepted by FSU freshman Carlos Becker III to seal the victory for the Seminoles. With a relatively large group of starters returning on next year's Florida State team, it's hard to ignore the potential that the strong finish to the 2016 season has demonstrated.

"Keith is a guy who I think is going to be a really, really good player", FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher said. The Seminoles also avoided losing a third straight bowl game for the first time in school-history.

Murray caught a 92-yard pass and Cook broke a 71-yard run and caught a 45-yard pass, and it looked as if the Noles might win easily. For some perspective, the same FSU defense that allowed FCS foe Charleston Southern to break off five chunk plays of 20+ yards back in week two kept the Wolverines to only two 20+ yard plays over the entire game.

Florida State's defense rose to the occasion, holding the Wolverines to a field goal.

The mishap at the 30-yard line occurred as the Seminoles took the field, with the Michigan Wolverines waiting in their tunnel.

Quarterback Deondre Francois and receiver Nyqwan Murray both committed turnovers that led to points for MI on Friday night.

But there was no stopping the awesome talents of FSU RB Dalvin Cook, who continued to carve through the ACC record books. MI defensive end Taco Charlton knocked Francois out of the game for a play, and freshman kicker Ricky Aguayo booted a 43-yard field goal that gave the Seminoles a 10-3 lead.

But Florida State found its poise, too.

For his part, Butt seems to be in good spirits and isn't second-guessing his decision to play in the Orange Bowl. "That ain't him", Fisher said. "Big players make big plays in big-time moments, and that was a big-time moment right there". The first one showcased his speed, seeing him out-pace his coverage off the line and out-run Michigan's defenders for 50 yards after the catch to reach the end zone.

"He's a great player", MI coach Jim Harbaugh said, "as advertised".

As if the half wasn't painful enough for U-M's psyche, it became actually painful personally when tight end Jake Butt suffered an apparent knee injury with 10:48 left before halftime.

The teams traded field goals to close the first half - a half dominated by the Seminoles. Ro'Derrick Hoskins added six solo tackles and a pair of TFLs of his own as Florida State's starting linebackers played with a consistent physicality and chemistry that they have improved on as the season has gone on.

208 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown.

"The offense in the first half, it was tough sledding", Harbaugh said.

He also threw an interception to linebacker Mike McCray that was returned for a touchdown. The Wolverines' defense - which outside of those few huge plays played pretty well - forced a punt, and Speight led another drive, this one capped by a sensational 30-yard scoring dash by Chris Evans.