FSU Football: Top 5 Victories Over Florida All-Time
With FSU football set to take the field Saturday for their annual rivalry game against Florida, we look at the five best wins in history over the Gators.
For the 61st time, the Florida State Seminoles and Florida Gators will battle it out on the football field for in-state bragging rights. While FSU football’s rivalry with the Miami Hurricanes started first (1951 as opposed to 1958 vs. Florida), the Sunshine State becomes a true house divided when the garnet and gold take on the orange and blue.
Since that inaugural game inside Florida Field 58 years ago, there have been some great wins for the ‘Noles over their hated foes. From a blowout win in 1977 under second year coach Bobby Bowden to the 2003 miracle pass from Chris Rix to P.K. Sam, FSU fans have had plenty of years to celebrate and brag over what took place.
Here’s a look at the top five wins for FSU football over the Gators all-time.
No. 5 – FSU 23 Florida 17 (January 2, 1995 in New Orleans, LA)
While we would love to put the first meeting between these teams on the list from this season (the epic Choke at Doak which felt like a win for the ‘Noles), the encore in the Big Easy will have to do just fine for this list.
For FSU football, the game would be highlighted by a 17 point second quarter that included a 73 yard touchdown pass to ‘Omar Ellison from a sophomore running back and star named Warrick Dunn (I think he was pretty good in both college and the NFL). The defense did their part with five sacks on the night and kept the Florida offense from marching up and down the field, like they had done all season.
The win was the Seminoles’ third in their previous four meetings with the Gators – tying the longest unbeaten streak to their rivals in series history.
No. 4 – FSU 16 Florida 7 (November 21, 1964 in Tallahassee)
When Florida State went co-ed again starting in 1947, the school wanted to take on their rivals from Gainesville in athletic competitions. The Gators continuously said no, especially when it came to football. Eventually, it was decided that they would start playing yearly in 1958 – with Florida going 5-0-1 in the first six meetings.
1964 would be much different for the men in garnet and gold. In the first ever meeting between the schools in Tallahassee, FSU jumped out to a 13-0 lead – with their lone touchdown being a long pass to someone named Biletnikoff (he would do pretty well at the next level, too).
The victory would also be the start of rude trips to Tallahassee for former Florida quarterback and head coach Steve Spurrier – who would go just 1-7-1 during his games against the ‘Noles as a player, assistant and head coach played int the capital city.
No. 3 – FSU 37 Florida 7 (November 30, 2013 in Gainesville)
For the Seminoles, this season couldn’t have gone much better. After dismantling one rival earlier in the month (and reminding Miami they still weren’t on our level), it was off the Gainesville to play a Gators team with a losing record (something FSU hasn’t had since 1976) and who had lost the weekend before to a FCS team (something FSU has never done).
For one of the few real times in this series, Florida State cruised to an easy victory that almost made you feel a little sorry for the Crocs…almost. Jameis Winston and Kelvin Benjamin connected for three touchdown passes while the defense held Florida to just 193 total yards in the 30 point win, FSU’s biggest in the series since 1988.
The win kept the second rated Seminoles in the BCS title game hunt – a game they would win over SEC member Auburn for the school’s third title.
No. 2 – FSU 30 Florida 7 (November 18, 2000 in Tallahassee)
While much of the nation was watching the Sunshine State to see if we would ever decide who won the vote in the Presidential Election, the college football world watched as the No. 3 and 4 teams battled it out – with the winner likely jumping No. 2 Miami for a spot in the Orange Bowl for the national title.
The two teams would exchange scores within the first 10 minutes of the game – and then it was the FSU show the rest of the time. Chris Weinke cemented his Heisman Trophy win with a three touchdown performance, including two to “Snoop” Minnis, while the defense came up with three interceptions of Jesse Palmer and Rex Grossman (while holding Florida to 37 yards rushing) for the 30-7 victory.
The game would be the final one in an impressive 11 year, 13 game streak where both teams were ranked in the Top 10 at kickoff.
No. 1 – FSU 24 Florida 21 (November 30, 1996 in Tallahassee)
Of course, of those 13 games, the biggest one would be four years before when the No. 1 Gators came to Tallahassee to take on No. 2 Florida State, the only time the teams have met ranked as the top two teams nationally.
For FSU, things couldn’t have started any better. An interception on the first drive led to a field goal while a blocked punt on the next drive led to a touchdown. After the first 15 minutes, the Seminoles were up 17-0 and the record crowd was beyond ecstatic. Florida would strike back with two second quarter touchdowns, but two missed field goals would prove to be the difference as FSU held on for the win and took over the top spot.
The MVP of the game was running back Warrick Dunn, who finished with 185 yards and was able to lead the offense as the Gators attempted to comeback. The teams would meet again, in the Sugar Bowl for the second time in three seasons…but we don’t have to work about that.
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