For the versatile Karlos Williams, big plays in championship games were somewhat commonplace during his time at Florida State.
Most remember the fake punt against Auburn that spurred the comeback for the 2013 national championship. On this day, however, Williams made the decisive play on the defensive side of the ball to preserve a 21-15 victory over Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship.
FSU won the ACC in 12 of its first 14 seasons as a member but had gone seven years without a conference crown as it arrived in Charlotte for the ACC Championship on Dec. 1, 2012. At 10-2 and ranked No. 13, FSU was a big favorite over a 6-6 Georgia Tech team that represented the ACC Coastal while the top two teams in the division dealt with NCAA investigations.
Behind a touchdown run from Devonta Freeman and two from James Wilder Jr., FSU raced to a 21-3 first-half lead. The Yellow Jackets, however, weren’t going to go quietly.
Georgia Tech scored the next 12 points to cut the lead to six and were a touchdown drive away from stunning the Seminoles. On the game’s decisive drive, Georgia Tech marched from its own 11-yard-line out past the 40. With one minute to go, however, Tevin Washington fired into coverage.
Williams, then a safety and later a running back, was able to tip the football to himself. He secured the interception and returned it 41 yards to inside the Georgia Tech 5-yard-line.
The pick preserved FSU’s first ACC championship since 2005. Led by Wilder and Freeman, FSU outrushed Georgia Tech’s triple-option attack. Xavier Rhodes also had an interception for the FSU defense. Washington rushed for the lone touchdown for the Yellow Jackets.
Box Score and Recap:
Garnet and Great
Williams would be part of three ACC championship teams during his time at FSU. The following season, he rushed for a touchdown in a 45-7 ACC Championship win over Duke.
Most of Williams’ time in Tallahassee was spent on offense and special teams, but his only career interception preserved an ACC title for the Seminoles and began a streak of 29 straight victories. It came on this day a decade ago.