The Daily Nole

FSU Football: Five Non-Traditional Opponents the Noles Have Struggled With

Jeff Romance/FSU athletics

Auburn
All-time series:
Auburn leads 13-5-1
Overview: Most Florida State fans are well aware of what happened during the most recent meeting between the Seminoles and Auburn, but all-time, the Tigers hold a pretty significant advantage. This, despite the fact that the Seminoles have won three of four in the series. Prior to the BCS title game to wrap up 2013, the teams had not met since Auburn defeated FSU 20-17 in 1990. Two of Florida State’s five wins over Auburn have come in bowls. FSU not only defeated the Tigers for the national championship in 2013, but it topped them in the Sugar Bowl following the 1988 season. With the exception being a 14-14 tie in 1962, Auburn won nine of the first 10 in the series. 10 of the 19 meetings have been decided by eight points or less. The largest margin of victory was a 57-21 Tigers win in 1960. With Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson in the backfield, Auburn also beat FSU handily in 1985, 59-27.

Georgia
All-time series:
Georgia leads 6-4-1
Overview: Florida State and Georgia haven’t met since the Sugar Bowl following the 2002 season when former FSU offensive coordinator Mark Richt and the Bulldogs topped the Seminoles, 26-13. Georgia holds the slight edge all-time, but the teams have met just twice in the last 50 years. Prior to the Sugar Bowl to conclude 2002, the last meeting between the schools was a 17-17 tie in the Citrus Bowl to end the 1984 season. Georgia won the first five games in the series, but FSU won the next four, including a 10-3 upset of No. 5 Georgia in 1965. Four of the 11 meetings in the series have been shutouts with two going each way.

Houston
All-time series: Houston leads 13-2-2
Overview: Houston’s 38-24 Peach Bowl victory last season over Florida State was seen by most as an upset, but all-time, the Cougars have dominated FSU. Houston leads the series 13-2-2, but prior to last December, the teams had not met since 1978. The two Seminole victories in the series came by a 40-20 margin in 1968 and by a 33-22 score in 1975. The teams tied in consecutive years in 1964 and 1965. Under then head coach Bill Peterson, 1964 was the first season the Seminoles ever finished ranked, going 9-1-1. Last year’s Peach Bowl match-up was the first bowl contest between the teams, but they have met three times on neutral fields, playing in Jacksonville in 1968 and Tampa in 1970. The Cougars are 6-0-1 in Tallahassee.

Kentucky
All-time series:
Kentucky leads 4-1-1
Overview: The 2007 Music City Bowl in which Kentucky defeated a Florida State team with more than 20 suspended players is the only match-up over the last 50 years, but the Wildcats have dominated the all-time series. The lone FSU win in the series is also the largest margin of victory as the Seminoles defeated Kentucky 48-6 in 1964. The Wildcats returned the favor with a close 26-24 win the following season. Kentucky held FSU scoreless in each of the first three match-ups. The Wildcats won 23-0 in 1960 and 20-0 in 1961 before the teams finished in a scoreless tie in 1962.

Oklahoma
All-time series:
Oklahoma leads 6-1
Overview: Of all of the non-traditional teams on the list, it’s Florida State’s struggles against Oklahoma that probably hurt the most. Three times, the Seminoles saw their national championship dreams die with a bowl loss to the Sooners. Oklahoma ruined Florida State’s perfect season in 1979 with a 24-7 victory in the Orange Bowl before ripping the Seminoles’ heart out the following year. FSU was ranked second in the country when the teams met in the Orange Bowl to conclude the 1980 season. With Oklahoma trailing 17-10, quarterback J.C. Watts capped a 78-yard touchdown drive capped with a touchdown pass to Steve Rhoades. Watts connected with Forrest Velora for the winning 2-point conversion with 1:27 remaining. The Sooners beat FSU 13-2 in the Orange Bowl for the 2000 national championship, holding FSU’s Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Chris Weinke in check for most of the contest. Oklahoma also swept a home-and-home with Florida State in Jimbo Fisher’s first two seasons as head coach, winning 47-17 in Norman in 2010 and 23-13 in a top-5 match-up in Tallahassee in 2011. The lone FSU victory in the series was the first meeting as Steve Tensi threw five touchdowns, including four to All-American Fred Biletnikoff, in a 36-19 Gator Bowl victory to conclude the 1964 season.

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