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Monday, June 28, 2010
Remembering the ACC's ties

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

My colleague Ivan Maisel (a.k.a resident college football encyclopedia) wrote an interesting piece looking back at some of college football's greatest ties. That's right, ties. There used to be a time when nobody won. Or, everyone was a winner, depending on your outlook, I guess.

No. 8 on his list was No. 7 Florida State 31, No. 4 Florida 31. It was 1994. Some of you might remember the "Choke at Doak."

Some might not. Allow me (and the 1995 FSU media guide).

Florida State scored 28 unanswered points in the final 13 minutes of the game. Danny Kanell, who completed 18 of 22 passes for 232 yards in the fourth quarter, completed 40-of-53 passes for 421 yards, with one passing and one rushing touchdown. Cornerback James Colzie intercepted Danny Wuerffel's pass at the FSU 40-yard line to set up the final score. Warrick Dunn went 37 yards with a swing pass, and Rock Preston scored on a four-yard touchdown run. Dan Mowrey kicked the PAT with 1:45 remaining to tie it.

Florida State finished 10-1-1 that year, and the Choke at Doak set up the game known as "The fifth quarter in the French Quarter," the Sugar Bowl rematch against Florida, which FSU won, 23-17.

Here's another ACC tie for you: Georgia Tech 13, UNC 13. It was 1990, the year the Yellow Jackets split the national title with Colorado. Or, the year Georgia Tech was the UPI coaches' poll champs and Colorado was the Associated Press poll champs. It was the tie with North Carolina that ruined the Jackets' potential for an undefeated season.

Georgia Tech was not ranked heading into that fall. In fact, nobody on the national level was giving the Jackets much respect until they knocked off Clemson, 21-19. The Tigers were ranked No. 15 at that point, and Georgia Tech legitimized itself as one of the nation's top teams with that win.

On Oct. 20, 1990 at Kenan Stadium, Georgia Tech came into Chapel Hill ranked No. 11 and was a 13-point favorite to win the game. Instead, the Jackets had two fumbles and one interception that led to all of Carolina's 13 points. Georgia Tech led 10-3 at the half and outgained UNC in total yards 435-151.

UNC closed it to 10-6 on a field goal set up by an interception. The Tar Heels took the lead early in the fourth quarter after Willie Clay muffed a UNC punt and Reggie Clark recovered at Georgia Tech's 7-yard line. Two plays later, Natrone Means scored from five yards out with 13:18 to play, giving UNC the 13-10 lead.

On the following possession, the Jackets got to the 1-yard line, but on fourth and one, (Paul Johnson's favorite down and distance) UNC’s Eric Gash stopped Stefen Scotton short of the end zone. Three plays lost five yards, and Georgia Tech settled for a 27-yard field goal with 1:01 remaining.

Are there any other ACC ties out there that you remember? Any ACC historians? Feel free to drop any other memorable ACC ties in my mailbag and I'll be glad to highlight them this week for you.