TURNING POINTS

A GAME OR A SEASON CAN SOMETIMES SWING ON A SINGLE PLAY. HERE ARE THREE KEY MOMENTS IN FLORIDA STATE'S RUN TO THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF
December 29, 2014

1. THE BIG STRIP

With Jameis Winston suspended for an off-field outburst, Clemson was well-positioned to upset its ACC Atlantic Division rival on Sept. 20 in Tallahassee. With less than two minutes remaining and the score tied at 17, the Tigers pushed into the red zone. Then Florida State defensive tackle Eddie Goldman clawed the ball out of the grasp of tailback C.J. Davidson and the 'Noles recovered the fumble. Given late life, Florida State won 23--17 in overtime.

2. THE IRISH PICK

It was the most scrutinized play of the season: At home, Florida State led Notre Dame 31--27 in the waning seconds on Oct. 18, with the Fighting Irish facing fourth-and-goal from the two. QB Everett Golson hit receiver Corey Robinson for the winning score—only it wasn't. Notre Dame was flagged for a questionable pass interference, and Golson's next attempt was intercepted. Florida State went on to win its next six games; Notre Dame finished 1--4.

3. LONG GAIN, NO PAIN

Florida State survived at Louisville on Oct. 30, thanks to a missed opportunity early. Cardinals QB Will Gardner connected with DeVante Parker for a 71-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage. It should have been a touchdown, but safety Tyler Hunter improbably caught Parker at the four-yard line. On the next three plays the Cards advanced to the one then came up short on fourth down. FSU outscored Louisville 35--10 in the second half to win 42--31.

PHOTOJASON PARKHURST FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)