Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 11/9/12
BLACKSBURG, VA --- Florida State saved face Thursday night in the frigid southwestern mountains of Virginia. The eighth-ranked Seminoles were on the brink of blowing another double-digit lead to a mediocre team on the road as they did a month ago at NC State before rallying on their last drive to notch a 28-22 victory. The win quells some of the hard feelings growing toward coach Jimbo Fisher and it kept the Seminoles in the driver's seat to win the Atlantic Division and play for the ACC championship. It also kept alive the ACC's chances at getting a second team into a BCS bowl. "We knew it would be tough coming in here on Thursday night and we would get their best shot," Fisher said. "Not many folks ever come in here on Thursday nights and do all three phases and all that But after saying all that to come out of here with a victory on a Thursday night at Lane Stadium shows a lot of character in our football team." With respect to the Hokies, the ACC needed FSU to win this game. It needs the Seminoles, regardless of who is at the helm, to be relevant nationally. And while Fisher's team has been positively average on the road this season, and were again for much of this contest, they are still three wins from capturing the program's first ACC title in seven years, nabbing a twelfth victory, and going to the Orange Bowl possibly ranked in the top five. The ACC needed this more than Virginia Tech improving to 5-5 and reminding the college football universe it's still alive and kicking and their rowdy home can be a house of horrors for visitors. This was supposed to be a season in which the ACC took a step forward. Eleven starting quarterbacks returned, the offenses were going to catch up with the league's usually-stout defenses, and maybe three clubs, including Clemson and the Hokies, could finish among the top-10. Virginia Tech hasn't done its part at all. The Hokies are now 4-6 overall and 2-4 in the ACC. They have been blown out three straight times on the road and a defense that finished ranked among the top-10 a year ago and returned almost everyone is a shadow of last year's group. But eight of the other nine ACC programs not nicknamed Seminoles and Tigers haven't done their part, either. Duke, which is bowl eligible for the first time in 18 years, is the exception. North Carolina's probation plus poor, inconsistent play has resulted in lousy nonconference losses that have tossed this league well off the radar. But with all of that, No. 10 Clemson (8-1, 5-1 ACC) and FSU (9-1, 6-1) remain in contention for BCS bowls one as the league's champion and the other as an at-large selection. Imagine, one of the ACC's worst seasons in years - and perhaps most underachieving in memory - and it can still land two clubs in the lucrative series. That's why E.J. Manuel's 39-yard pass to Rashad Greene for a game-winning touchdown with 40 seconds left was so important to every school in the conference. It reduces the heat on Fisher - the handpicked successor to Hall of Fame legend Bobby Bowden and keeps alive the hopes of a program working so desperately to regain its lost luster. Losing at 5-4 NCSU and at the worst Virginia Tech team in two decades would have suggested anything but a return to form. The Noles were mere seconds from being nowhere close. As it is, FSU still isn't a shell of its 1990s self, and it's unlikely it can ever regain that full form, but it is on track to put forth a special season regardless. If this is a matter of taking steps, then the Seminoles achieved that on this night. Manuel was very solid completing 25 of 42 pass attempts for 326 yards and three scores. He got little help from a ground game that resembled the struggles of 2011, and that's before factoring in the five times he was sacked. "E.J. took a beating back there," Fisher said, but he still stood in there and made the plays," The Noles overcame a late safety allowed and major mojo on the Hokies' side to get the important victory. The FSU victory also gives the league a chance to not only make an additional 17 million, but notch two BCS wins, which it badly needs given its current record is 2-13 on those contests. FSU didn't play well and neither has the ACC, but the Noles' win tonight was one for the conference.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Top 10 takeaways from Super Bowl 50

Was firing Jeff Hornacek the wrong move for the Suns?

Panthers picked wrong day to play worst game of the season

Was Peyton Manning paid for Budweiser mentions?

Cam Newton walks out of postgame press conference

Eli did not look thrilled after Peyton locked up Super Bowl

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rick Reilly sends awkward tweet during Super Bowl 50

Peyton Manning gives Papa John a kiss after game

Panthers' Josh Norman crying after losing Super Bowl

Peyton Manning ‘going to drink a lot of Budweiser’ after win

Where Peyton Manning ranks among Super Bowl era QBs

Peyton Manning declines to comment on possible retirement

Winners and losers from Super Bowl 50

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Aqib Talib wipes out on NFL Network

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Five biggest boneheaded plays of Super Bowl 50

WATCH: Cam Newton gives questionable effort to recover fumble

Lions say Calvin Johnson's future still not determined

How Louisville basketball bungled their self-imposed ban

Ted Ginn Jr. whiffs on football twice on one play, results in Panthers turnover

Kony Ealy makes one-handed interception of Peyton Manning

Mike Carey gets another call wrong on incomplete pass in SB

Steph Curry beats Panthers' "Keep Pounding" drum

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker