Last night on the opening play of the ACC Championship game senior LB Nick Moody suffered a head injury covering the kickoff and didn't play another snap all night.
"I was behind [Nick] Moody all week in practice," said sophomore Karlos Williams, who replaced Moody. "[I was] getting good reps, making sure I knew my assignments and alignments, and after he went down the first kickoff my name was called and I was kind of nervous, but it's the game of football, you've got to go out there and step up and it was my time and I think I played pretty well tonight."
That is an understatement.
Filling in for Moody all Williams did was lead the team in tackles and clinch the game with an interception in the final minutes to give Florida State the win.
A week after losing the team's leading tackler to an ACL tear when Tank Carradine went down against UF, it was an unlikely hero who stepped in and picked up the slack.
Williams finished the night with 11 tackles, eight of them solo, but perhaps no play was bigger than his interception. With Georgia Tech down by six and driving late in the game Williams snagged a deflected pass and returned it 41 yards down to the Georgia Tech goalline.
"I just broke on it and tried to tip it up and bat it down," said Williams. "But luckily it tipped up in the air and I just tried to make a sure catch and that's what happened. I'm just happy I got the call and we're ACC champs."
Karlos Williams is Vince Williams' younger brother and as soon as they open their mouths you can see the relation. Both of them are exceptionally quick-witted, engaging young men and both of them can bring the lumber on the field come Saturdays.
Early in his career Karlos Williams has stood out for two things, he's incredibly potent on kickoffs and he has a knack for blowing up the ballcarrier (or blockers, or just guys in the way) and drawing roughness flags. Case in point, this was Williams' most memorable contribution against UF a week ago:
But last night was essentially Karlos Williams' coming out party. With some spots opening up on defense next season he made a very big play– on a national stage no less– for why he'll be a big part of the Florida State D next year.
And from the looks of it he could be quite a force.
James Wilder Jr. won the MVP honors, I question whether Williams wasn't more deserving.
It's interesting, all week you've heard players and coaches say someone was going to need to step up. Mario Edwards did a good job replacing Tank Carradine last night but nobody stepped up like Karlos Williams did.
And in the end that may have made just enough of a difference.