Deja blue: Another ill-fated direct snap looms large in loss at UVa
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- It has been 24 years since Warrick Dunn took a direct snap on the final play of a game in Virginia's Scott Stadium, and Florida State fans are still fuming about the referees' ruling that he was stopped just short of the end zone.
When FSU supporters reflect on this FSU-UVa game two dozen years from now, the Seminoles' ire likely will be directed elsewhere.
With the ball at Virginia's 4-yard line and four seconds left late Saturday night -- the same amount of time that remained for Dunn's fateful play -- FSU coach Willie Taggart and offensive coordinator Kendal Briles decided not to kill the clock with a spike, but instead went with a hurry-up snap to tailback Cam Akers in an effort to catch the No. 25 Cavaliers off guard.
Instead, it was FSU's blockers who seemed most confused.
Two Florida State offensive linemen appeared to back away from the line and drop into pass-protection on the running play, and wide receiver Tamorrion Terry apparently thought the Seminoles were going to down the ball and kill the clock. He didn't move on the snap, and by the time he realized Akers was running toward his side of the field, it was too late to make an effective block.
Terry's defender -- Virginia star cornerback Bryce Hall -- was one of several Cavaliers in the area to make the play and stop Akers for no gain. The failed trickery preserved a 31-24 victory for Virginia (3-0, 1-0 ACC), and it dropped the Seminoles to 1-2 (0-1).
Afterward, Taggart was asked if the Seminoles got the look they wanted on the final play.
"We didn't get what we wanted. We wanted a touchdown," Taggart said. "So no, we didn't get what we wanted. But we called the play -- there was four seconds left, we didn't have any time outs -- so we called the play, and it didn't work."
With no time outs at their disposal, the Seminoles effectively had two choices after sophomore receiver Keyshawn Helton caught a 16-yard pass on third-and-14 from the UVa 20-yard line.
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