Florida State grinds out ACC championship game win with third-string QB under center

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It wasn’t pretty, but Florida State got it done. The Seminoles defeated Louisville, 16-6, in an offensive struggle, to win the program’s first ACC championship since 2014 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The offensive effort was highlighted by running back Lawrance Toafili, who had a career night recording 118 yards rushing on 10 attempts and the lone touchdown of the game. He was the beating heart of an offense that needed someone to step up.

On defense, linebacker Tatum Bethune had the biggest play of the night, intercepting Louisville quarterback Jack Plummer in the end zone in the fourth quarter. The play came after punter Alex Mastromanno failed to get a punt off, setting the Cardinals up at the FSU 12-yard line.

FSU had seven team sacks. Patrick Payton and Fabien Lovett recorded a sack each. Braden Fiske had three sacks and Jared Verse had two sacks. It was a season-high team total in sacks for the Seminoles.

On special teams, kicker Ryan Fitzgerald was 3-of-4 on the night in field goals, hitting and missing from 45 yards. He later made a field goal from 33 yards and another from 40 yards in the fourth quarter. He improved to 18-of-20 on the year.

Mastromanno recorded 372 yards on nine punts, with a long of 49 yards.

Freshman Brock Glenn earned his first start after Tate Rodemaker was ruled out due to concussion protocol. He completed 8-of-21 passes for 55 yards.

FSU will find out its fate on Sunday at noon ET as the College Football Playoff selection committee will announce its final rankings and which teams will make the playoff. The Seminoles are currently 13-0 and one of three undefeated Power Five teams left in the country.

Jack Williams covers Florida State athletics for Tallahassee Democrat. Contact him via email at or on Twitter @jackgwilliams.

This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Florida State defeats Louisville to win first ACC title since 2014