FSU outlasts Michigan in wild 4th quarter to cap a thrilling Orange Bowl

BY Aaron Torres • December 31, 2016

For the last month, all we heard in the world of college football was that bowl games outside of the playoff don't matter. If that's the case, someone should have told Michigan and Florida State — schools that squared off in the Orange Bowl on Friday night, and gave us the wildest fourth quarter of the season.

For those who missed it, here is a quick recap, of those insane last 12 minutes:

Florida State entered the fourth with a 20-15 lead, but then the Seminoles' Dalvin Cook — who was an absolute star all night — broke off a massive 71-yard run, which set up a Deondre Francois score just a few plays later. That touchdown gave Florida State a 27-15 lead with 11 minutes to go, and seemingly locked up the win for Jimbo Fisher's club.

Or at least that's how it seemed.  The truth is, that was only beginning.

Following the Francois score, Wilton Speight — who struggled most of the night — led Michigan on a seven-play, 37-yard drive to cut the lead to 27-21. The PAT made the score 27-22.

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But wait. There's more! Because after Florida State got the ball back the Seminoles weren't able to muster much. Michigan forced a three-and-out, and shortly after the Wolverines got the ball back they went to work. After a Speight pass got Michigan a new set of downs, the Wolverines got the ball to running back Chris Evans. The freshman — who tallied just more than over 500 yards on the ground all season — ripped off a 30-yard run, diving into the end zone for a touchdown score with under two minutes to go. The Wolverines added a two-point conversion to take the lead, 30-27.

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A stop on what would likely be the Seminoles final drive would seal a win; a field goal would lead to overtime.

The Wolverines kicked the ball to Kenny Galvin, who — despite his teammate's plea to down the kick — ran out of the end zone, broke a tackle and went 66 yards into Michigan territory. Michigan forced a third down, but Francois dropped back and hit Nyqwan Murray ... for a touchdown to give Florida State a 33-30 lead with 36 seconds left to go in the fourth quarter.

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And just when you thought the game couldn't get any crazier: Florida State lined up for the PAT to take a four-point lead — only to have the kick was blocked by Michigan's Josh Metellus and returned for two points.

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The Wolverines had one last gasp, but couldn't quite pull out the win.

All in all, the wild fourth quarter included 30 points, two lead changes in the final two minutes, three touchdowns in the final three minutes, and a blocked PAT returned for two points.

So yeah, this game had it all.



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