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Late comeback comes up short in Florida State's 16-13 loss to Georgia Tech

Posted at 11:04 PM, Sep 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-14 12:34:02-04

(Editor's Note: Florida State football release)

Georgia Tech outscored Florida State by a 16-3 margin in the second half and earned a hard-fought 16-13 win over the Seminoles in the season-opener for both teams at Doak Campbell Stadium. Despite three-blocked kicks by the Seminoles’ special teams unit, the debut of first-year head coach Mike Norvell was spoiled by the Yellow Jackets come from behind second half effort.

Georgia Tech (1-0, 1-0 ACC) outgained Florida State (0-1, 0-1 ACC) by a 438-307 advantage in total yards gained including a 175-123 margin the second half. The Yellow Jackets scored the final 10 points of the game.

Throughout the nine-month build-up to his first game as Florida State’s head coach, Norvell preached special teams and defense. In his introductory press conference on December 8, 2019, he declared that special teams play would be the backbone of his philosophy at Florida State.

His declaration nearly came to fruition on Saturday. The Seminoles’ special teams unit blocked two Yellow Jacket field goal attempts (both by All-American candidate Marvin Wilson) and one extra point attempt (by fifth-year senior Janarius Robinson) and the defense earned two interceptions (both by defensive back Asante Samuel, Jr.) in one of the most unusual football games in school history.

Not only was the game played during a worldwide pandemic in front of only a mandated 17,538 fans, but it featured two weather delays – one before the game began – for a total of 1 hour and 48 minutes.

Norvell was looking to become just the fifth coach in the storied history of the Florida State program to win his Seminole debut joining Don Veller (1948 vs. Cumberland), Bill Peterson (1960 vs. Richmond), Larry Jones (1971 vs. Southern Miss) and Jimbo Fisher (2010 vs. Samford). His personal season-opening day record is now 4-1.