After falling behind 14-0 mid way through the third quarter, the Florida State Seminoles reeled off 18 unanswered points to beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and win the 2011 Champs Sports Bowl. It had been a sluggish and slow moving game until the Noles managed to capitalize on Notre Dame turnovers to explode for two quick touchdowns at the start of the final quarter.
FSU cut it to 14-9 when E.J. Manuel hit Bert Reed for an 18 yard touchdown. A two point conversion failed but the Noles would get it right back when Nigel Bradham picked off a pass by Irish quarterback Andrew Hendrix. Just two plays later, Manuel would find Rashad Greene in the seam for the go-ahead score. Manuel placed it perfectly over the head of ND linebacker Dan Fox as the faster Greene beat him to the end zone and pulled it down.
On their third possession of the quarter, Manuel would lead a nine play, 71 yard drive that resulted in a Dustin Hopkins field goal to give FSU a four point lead. After a Notre Dame punt pinned FSU inside their one yard line, the Noles were forced to punt from the back of their end zone and gave the Irish one last chance with great field position at the FSU 28 after a facemask. But the Irish would turn it over once again, as Tommy Rees heaved it into double coverage in the end zone. Terrence Brooks easily picked it off and FSU would run the clock down to less than thirty seconds.
It was an amazing comeback in a bowl game that had a BCS atmosphere. The 18 unanswered points were a great way for Jimbo Fisher and the Seminoles to end the season.
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