ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Florida State refused to suffer the same fate as Maryland and is in position for another Atlantic Coast Conference title.
Adrian McPherson threw two touchdowns and cornerback Stanford Samuels returned an interception 82 yards for a score as the 18th-ranked Seminoles remained unbeaten in ACC play with a 21-13 victory over Georgia Tech.
The Yellow Jackets handed Maryland its first conference loss last week, putting Florida State in sole possession of first place in the ACC. But Georgia Tech could not upset the Seminoles, who narrowly avoided their first league loss of the season and remained in prime position for their 10th ACC title in 11 years.
Florida State (7-3, 6-0 ACC) forged a 7-7 tie when Samuels intercepted Georgia Tech's A.J. Suggs and ran for his first career touchdown with 10:09 left in the first half.
McPherson extended the lead 3:40 later when he connected with Craphonso Thorpe on a 73-yard touchdown pass. He threw a 32-yard scoring strike to Anquan Boldin in the third quarter to give the Seminoles a 21-13 cushion.
McPherson, who took over as the starter for Chris Rix last week, completed 8-of-24 passes for 139 yards as Florida State remained unbeaten in 11 meetings with Georgia State since joining the ACC in 1992.
Nick Maddox ran 22 times for 122 yards, tying the career-high he set last week. He has 244 yards since star running back Greg Jones was lost to a knee injury in the third quarter of last week's victory over Wake Forest.
The Seminoles had 151 of their 279 yards on the ground against the Yellow Jackets, who have the best rushing defense in the league and gave up just 110 rushing yards combined in their previous two games.
Suggs finished 22-of-44 for 211 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions as Georgia Tech (6-4, 3-4) had its two-game winning streak snapped.
Gordon Clinksdale ran for 81 yards on nine carries for the Yellow Jackets, who lost despite gaining 396 yards and converting 7-of-19 third-down opportunities.
Georgia Tech's Luke Manget kicked two field goals and an extra point, moving him into third place on the ACC's career scoring list with 313 points. He is 13 points behind the all-time record set by Florida State's Scott Bentley from 1993-96.
The Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 7-0 lead on Suggs' 20-yard touchdown pass to Levon Thomas with 6:49 left in the first quarter. But Georgia Tech failed to get in the end zone again and Samuels' interception return swung the momentum.
Magnet brought the Yellow Jackets within 14-13 with field goals of 38 and 27 yards in the final 3:12 of the first half.