November 15, 2003 - by
No. 13 Seminoles Escape With 50-44 Overtime Win Over NC State

Nov. 15, 2003


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By BRENT KALLESTAD
Associated Press Writer

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.Leon Washington’s 12-yard touchdown run gave No. 13
Florida State a 50-44 double-overtime victory over North Carolina State on
Saturday, wrapping up the Seminoles’ 11th Atlantic Coast Conference title in 12
years.

Florida State (9-2, 7-1) also locked up its fourth BCS game in five years
after surviving a brilliant performance by North Carolina State’s Philip
Rivers.

The ACC’s career passing leader, Rivers completed 28 of 38 passes for 422
yards and four touchdowns and ran for another score.

But North Carolina State (7-4, 4-3) gambled and lost in the second overtime.
Instead of trying a field goal, the Wolfpack went on fourth-and-1 at the
Florida State 16 and Rivers’ pass for Jerricho Cotchery was broken up by Allen
Augustin at the 5.

Then Washington reeled off successive runs of 13 and 12 yards to give the
Seminoles the win in their first home overtime game.

Washington finished with 121 yards on 17 carries.

Florida State took a 44-37 lead in the first overtime on 4-yard TD throw by
Chris Rix to Craphonso Thorpe, but North Carolina State countered on a 7-yard
scoring throw from Rivers to Tramaine Hall.

Regulation play ended when North Carolina State’s Derek Morris blocked a
32-yard field goal try by Florida State’s Xavier Beitia with only 2 seconds
left.

The Seminoles had gotten the ball with 2:13 remaining when the Wolfpack’s
Brian Clark fumbled after a catch on his own 42.

Beitia had already kicked three field goals for the Seminoles, his last one
putting them into a 37-30 advantage midway through the final quarter.

North Carolina State tied it at 37 with 4:06 left on Rivers’ 44-yard
touchdown pass to Hall.

Rix threw two touchdown passes to Thorpe and another to P.K. Sam, and
Lorenzo Booker raced 71 yards for another score.

Florida State got a huge break in the last minute of the half when T.A.
McLendon fumbled on a third down at his own three and the Seminoles’ Brodrick
Bunkley recovered. After a run for no gain and a penalty, Rix zipped a 7-yard
scoring pass to Thorpe to make it 20-17 at halftime.

The Wolfpack had taken a 20-10 lead, in part benefiting from a couple
officiating calls. Florida State was called for holding on a fourth down punt,
giving the ‘Pack a first down at its 42.

Six plays later, Cotchery’s second touchdown on a short pass from Rivers was
allowed although he fumbled right at the goal line.

Rix’s 12th interception of the season resulted in a 43-yard touchdown return
by 285-pound Wolfpack tackle Alan Halloway. Under pressure, Rix threw the ball
across the field right to Halloway, who then brushed off the quarterback on his
way to the end zone.

Cotchery made 10 catches for 135 yards and two touchdowns in the game.

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