The Daily Nole

FSU’s Five Most Underrated Wins Under Fisher

Mike Olivella/FSU athletics

In six years as head coach, Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher has compiled a 68-14 record. Most fondly remember FSU’s 34-31 victory over Auburn for the 2013 national championship as well as the three ACC championships and victories over Clemson teams in 2013 and 2014.

Looking back on Fisher’s six years as head man of the program, many victories tend to fall through the cracks of fans’ mind. Considering that Fisher has averaged more than 11 victories per season, that’s not a surprise. Here however, are five victories that don’t always get the reverence they deserve:

Florida 7, FSU 31
Nov. 27, 2010

The 27-2 and 4-8 jokes are fun for Florida State fans to make, but fans don’t talk as much about FSU’s 31-7 win over Florida in 2010, which swung football supremacy in the state of Florida. Entering the contest, the Seminoles had dropped six straight to their rivals from Gainesville. During that span, Florida won two national titles and three BCS bowls while FSU endured four seasons with five losses or more. After Florida scored on its opening drive in the 2010 contest at Doak Campbell Stadium, the Florida State defense held the Gators scoreless for the remainder of the game while forcing four turnovers. Christian Ponder threw three touchdown passes to help fuel the FSU rout. The win began a stretch of five victories in six years for FSU over its rivals.

South Carolina 17, FSU 26
Dec. 31, 2010 (Chick-fil-A Bowl)

It wasn’t a major bowl at the time, but Florida State’s 26-17 Chick-fil-A Bowl victory over SEC East champion South Carolina gave the Seminoles their first 10-win season in seven years. FSU forced five turnovers in the win. In place of the injured Christian Ponder, E.J. Manuel orchestrated a 13-play drive that spanned more than six minutes and culminated in a touchdown pass to Taiwan Easterling to cement the victory. Chris Thompson rushed for 147 yards and a touchdown in the win.

Clemson 37, FSU 49
Sept. 22, 2012

When thinking about the evolving rivalry between Florida State and Clemson, most fondly remember FSU putting up 51 points in Death Valley in 2013 and Karlos Williams’ walk-off touchdown in overtime a year later. Some however, often overlook how important the No. 4 Seminoles’ 49-37 win in Tallahassee in 2012 was. Coming into the contest, high-profile games were always ones FSU seemed to lose. Entering the match-up with the 10th-ranked Tigers, the Seminoles were 0-2 under Fisher against top 10 opponents. After falling behind 28-14 early in the second half, FSU scored touchdowns on four straight possessions to take control of the contest. E.J. Manuel passed for 380 yards while he and Chris Thompson each broke the 100-yard barrier on the ground. The victory allowed FSU to capture the Atlantic Division title and eventually, its first ACC crown in seven years.

Northern Illinois 10, FSU 31
Jan. 1, 2013 (Orange Bowl)

After winning the ACC for the first time in seven years, Florida State wasn’t given the most handsome of prizes as it faced BCS buster Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl. The Huskies were led by quarterback and Heisman Trophy finalist Jordan Lynch. Despite being dominated statistically, Northern Illinois trailed by just seven points in the fourth quarter. That was until rushing touchdowns by E.J. Manuel and Lonnie Pryor within a 5-minute span put the contest away. Pryor was named the game’s MVP by finishing with 134 yards and a pair of scores on the ground on just five carries. Terrence Brooks recorded an interception to lead an FSU defense that yielded just 259 total yards. Though the win came over a largely overmatched opponent, it gave Florida State its first top 10 finish in the AP Poll in 12 years and first victory in a major bowl since winning the national championship in January 2000. The victory also gave FSU momentum to make a run at a national title the following year.

FSU 48, Boston College 34
Sept. 28, 2013

It was the closest game of the 2013 regular season for Florida State, but ultimately, may have served as a wake-up call. Trailing 17-3 at Boston College, the Seminoles looked to be in real trouble during their fourth game of the season. After tying the game at 17 with a pair of second quarter touchdowns, FSU quarterback Jameis Winston shook off multiple Boston College defenders before finding Kenny Shaw for a 55-yard touchdown on the final play of the half. The score put the Seminoles ahead for good, but Boston College continued to have success on offense, putting up its most points against an FBS opponent in more than four years. From there on out, FSU didn’t allow any opponent to score more than 17 until Auburn in the BCS National Championship. The Seminoles yielded the fewest points per game in the country that season while the offense scored more than any team in FBS history. It’s worth pondering how the Seminoles’ 2013 campaign might have ended up had they not had to persevere early in the season at Boston College.

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