Austin Scott’s 1-yard run put Penn State ahead. B.J. Dean pulled the Seminoles even with a 1-yard scoring run.
After Cismesia’s 38-yard attempt hit the right upright, Kelly finally came through. The kick gave Paterno his 354th career win, second in Division I-A only to Bowden’s 359.
“It came down to one play,” Paterno said. “It could have gone the other way.”
Paterno improved to 7-1 against Bowden. The only loss came the last time they met, when Florida State beat Penn State in the 1990 Blockbuster Bowl — also at Miami.
With his first win in the Orange Bowl since 1974, Paterno improved to 21-10-1 in bowl games.
Both offenses spent much of the game going backward, but there were fireworks, too. Ethan Kilmer made a leaping 24-yard scoring reception with six seconds left in the first half to give Penn State a 14-13 halftime lead.
“We had a lot of perseverance,” Kilmer said. “We had to just keep plugging away, keep plugging away, keep plugging away.”
The Seminoles scored two touchdowns in 80 seconds — on an Orange Bowl-record 87-yard punt return by Willie Reid, and on a 57-yard reception by Lorenzo Booker. But they totaled only six first downs before Drew Weatherford drove them 65 yards for the tying field goal late in the fourth quarter.
Penn State linebacker Paul Posluszny, the Butkus Award winner, hurt his right knee during the drive and was carted off the field. Paterno said he’ll require an MRI to determine the extent of the damage.
Tony Hunt, a 1,047-yard rusher for Penn State, departed in the first quarter with a left ankle injury. Scott replaced him and ran for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
The teams punted 20 times, all in the first three periods. In the second half, they swapped eight possessions before either made a first down — on a pass-interference penalty.
Defense produced the first score of the half. Weatherford, working from his end zone, was called for intentional grounding — a safety — when Penn State’s Jim Shaw forced a throw.
Leading 16-13, the Nittany Lions had a chance to take control with nine minutes left. But on first-and-goal at the 4, Florida State recovered a botched snap.
The Seminoles netted 26 yards rushing and were penalized 129 yards. Despite the lack of punch, they stayed in the game thanks to two big plays.
They trailed 7-0 when Reid weaved up the middle on a runback, cut left and dashed to the end zone. The punt return broke the Orange Bowl record of 80 yards by former Florida State athletic director Cecil “Hootie” Ingram for Alabama in 1953.
DPS: Alabama head coach Nick Saban was recently trash-talked by colleagues, and he tells Dan Patrick he wishes he was spoken to in private prior to the insults.
New Year’s Bowls
Top images from the Jan. 2 and 3 games
Video: Football from NBC Sports
Saban hurt by colleagues' comments?
DPS: Alabama head coach Nick Saban was recently trash-talked by colleagues, and he tells Dan Patrick what he think of these comments.
BCS title game
Pregame color, key plays and other moments from 'Bama's blowout win.
Check out the action from the postseason.
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Check out some of the college football cheerleaders from across the country.