Bobby Rodriguez caught a touchdown pass and ran for another touchdown as No. 4 Georgia Tech beat Wake Forest, 42-7, at Winston-Salem, N.C., to secure its first Atlantic Coast Conference championship and a Citrus Bowl invitation.
Georgia Tech, the only unbeaten Division I-A team at 9-0-1 overall and 6-0-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, has won 16 of its last 18 games and will be the conference representative at Orlando, Fla., on New Year’s Day.
Wake Forest (2-8, 0-7) has lost its last six games.
Georgia Tech gained two distinctions in its victory. The Yellow Jackets won their first football title since 1952, when they won the last of the school’s five Southeastern Conference titles. That also was the last time that the Yellow Jackets finished a season unbeaten.
Georgia Tech, which left the SEC in 1964, couldn’t compete for the ACC title until 1983, four years after it joined the league.
The victory also made Bobby Ross the first coach to win titles at two ACC schools. Ross won three titles at Maryland from 1983 through 1985.
No. 9 Florida State 35, Memphis State 3--The Seminoles rolled to a 32-0 halftime lead and then coasted to a victory over the Tigers at Orlando, Fla.
Casey Weldon threw three touchdown passes in the second quarter--two to Lawrence Dawsey--as Florida State (8-2) rolled up 321 yards by halftime. But Memphis State played the Seminoles to a 3-3 standoff in the second half.
Memphis State, which finished the year with a 4-6-1 record, had not allowed more than 28 points in a game before Saturday.
The Tigers’ defense limited Florida State 160 yards and seven first downs in the second half.
Dawsey caught scoring passes on plays that covered 45 and 17 yards and fullback Edgar Bennett caught a 33-yard touchdown pass.
Florida State, which will play Penn State in the inaugural Blockbuster Bowl on Dec. 28, closes out its regular season Dec. 1 at home against archrival Florida (9-1).
No. 17 Clemson 24, South Carolina 15--Freshman Ronald Williams rushed for 124 yards, including 48 during a key fourth-quarter drive, and the Tigers downed the Gamecocks at Clemson, S.C.
South Carolina (5-5) cut the lead to 17-15 on Mike Dingle’s four-yard run with 10:28 left in the game. It was the first touchdown the Tigers’ top-ranked defense had given up in six home games.
Clemson (9-2) responded with an eight-play, 86-yard drive capped by Tony Kennedy’s one-yard run with 6:50 left. Williams gained 25 yards on the first play, and DeChane Cameron later completed a swing pass to Rudy Harris for a 28-yard gain to the Game-clock 18.
North Carolina 24, Duke 22--Natrone Means capped his outstanding freshman season by rushing for 256 yards and three touchdowns as the Tar Heels (6-4-1, 3-3-1) beat the Blue Devils (4-7, 1-6) in an ACC finale at Durham, N.C.
The Tar Heels, after back-to-back 1-10 seasons under Coach Mack Brown, had one of the best turnarounds in this season.