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         === Florida State knocks off Georgia Tech to win ACC crown ===
 
 Charlotte,  NC (Sports Network) - James Wilder Jr. rushed for a pair of scores
 on Saturday night, and the Seminoles' second-ranked defense came up big in the
 closing  minute, as No.  13 Florida State held off Georgia Tech, 21-15, to win
 the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship game at Bank of America Stadium.
 
 Wilder  carried the ball 10 times for 69 yards, while Devonta Freeman added 59
 yards and a score on 13 carries to help Florida State (11-2, 7-1 ACC) earn its
 13th ACC championship in school history and a berth in the Orange Bowl.
 
 EJ  Manuel finished  16-of-21 for 134 yards, but threw an interception late in
 the  fourth  quarter  to give  Georgia  Tech  one  final  shot at  a  go-ahead
 touchdown.
 
 Yellow  Jackets quarterback  Tevin Washington then led his squad near midfield
 by  converting  a 4th-and-1 with  a 5-yard  surge, but Florida State defensive
 back  Karlos  Williams intercepted  Washington's next pass  and returned it 41
 yards to the Georgia Tech 4 to seal the victory.
 
 "I  just broke  on it and tried  to tip it up  and bat it down, but luckily it
 tipped  up  in the air and  I just tried to  make a sure catch and that's what
 happened,"  Williams said  of his interception. "I'm just happy I got the call
 and we're ACC champs."
 
 Washington  finished just 4-of-14 for 76 yards, but added 20 rushing yards and
 a  score on  10  carries for  Georgia  Tech (6-7,  5-3),  which finished  with
 the  same  record as Miami-Florida  in the ACC Coastal,  but earned a berth in
 the title game because of the Hurricanes' self-imposed sanctions.
 
 "Everybody  has  told them they're  not very good and  they don't belong and I
 think  they wanted to  show that they did, that they did belong," Georgia Tech
 coach Paul Johnson said of his team. "They came out and played their tail off.
 They played with some effort and some heart."
 
 David Sims rushed for 91 yards on 19 carries in the setback.
 
 The  Seminoles led 21-9  early in the fourth and seemed poised to extend their
 advantage,  but Manuel  was sacked  and  stripped at  the Georgia  Tech 30  by
 Emmanuel Dieke, who pounced on the loose ball to end the scoring threat.
 
 The   Yellow  Jackets  then  converted  two  fourth  downs  on  their  ensuing
 possession,  including a 4th-and-1 from the FSU 3 before Washington capped the
 13-play,  70-yard trek  with a 1-yard surge to bring Georgia Tech within 21-15
 with 6:27 remaining.
 
 Florida  State then  chewed up  four minutes  of clock  and forced  the Yellow
 Jackets to use the remainder of their timeouts before Manuel was picked off by
 Thomas to set up Georgia Tech's final drive.
 
 The  FSU defense,  which came in ranked  second in the nation in total defense
 (249.2 ypg), stifled the Yellow Jackets early.
 
 After  forcing a quick three-and-out on the game's opening possession, Florida
 State started its first touch from the Georgia Tech 43.
 
 The  Seminoles needed  just six plays to  find the end zone, as Freeman capped
 the scoring drive with a 3-yard TD surge to give Florida State a 7-0 edge just
 over four minutes into the game.
 
 Georgia  Tech  was forced to  punt on its  next two possessions before Florida
 State added to its lead early in the second.
 
 Starting  from the FSU 36, Manuel and Wilder guided the Seminoles on a 7-play,
 64-yard  march,  which Wilder capped with  a 16-yard touchdown run to give the
 Seminoles a 14-0 lead just over a minute into the second stanza.
 
 Georgia  Tech's first completion of the night set up their first score, as Vad
 Lee  hooked  up with Darren  Waller for 42  yards to the  FSU 23 on the Yellow
 Jackets' first play of their ensuing possession.
 
 The  series stalled at the 10-yard line though, and Georgia Tech settled for a
 27-yard field goal from Chris Tanner to pull within 14-3 with 9:25 left.
 
 The  Seminoles answered in a hurry, as Manuel led his squad on 9-play, 75-yard
 scoring march to make it a three-score game.
 
 Aided  by  a personal  foul penalty  on the Yellow  Jackets, Manuel and Wilder
 again  moved the  Seminoles down the field before Wilder capped the drive with
 his  second  score of the night,  as he carried it  in from a yard out to give
 Florida State a 21-3 edge with just under five minutes left in the half.
 
 David Scully's 47-yard field goal just before halftime sent the Yellow Jackets
 into the locker room facing a 21-6 deficit.
 
 Tanner's  36-yard  field goal late  in the third marked  the only score of the
 stanza,  as both  teams failed  to take  advantage of  turnovers early  in the
 frame.
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 Florida  State holds  a 13-9-1 series advantage ... Manuel (3,101) crossed the
 3,000-yard  passing mark  on the season ...  Georgia Tech had won the last two
 meetings ... Georgia Tech and Florida State were each appearing in their third
 ACC Championship game ... The Coastal Division had won four of the seven title
 games since the inception of the game in 2005.
 
 
 12/02 01:40:48 ET