The Daily Nole

Most Thrilling Wins in FSU History: First Round — No. 5 vs. No. 12

Michael Schwarz/FSU athletics

We’ve started a new segment here at The Daily Nole and this time, we need your help. Each day, we’ll be presenting two of Florida State’s most thrilling wins of all-time, but it’s up to you to decide which FSU victory was more thrilling.

For the contest to be on the list, it needs to have been decided in the final five minutes. The implication of the victory will obviously play a role, but ultimately, the criteria is simply which contest was more thrilling to watch.

On Friday, the No. 8 vs. No. 9 match-up was between a pair of thrilling season-openers, but the final tally was lopsided. The eighth-seeded 2005 season-opening victory over Miami received 96 percent of the vote over the ninth-seeded 2002 Eddie Robinson Classic which concluded with a goal line stand to beat Iowa State, 38-31. That 10-7 win over the Hurricanes will move on to face our No. 1 seed, the 1994 Orange Bowl.

Saturday’s match-up features a pair of ACC contests in which the Seminoles came from behind to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. The No. 5 seed in the series is Florida State’s thrilling 29-24 victory at Georgia Tech from 1992. The 12th-seed in our series is the 2014 ACC opener in which the Seminoles rallied to beat Clemson in overtime, 23-17.

No. 5: Florida State 29, Georgia Tech 24
Oct. 17, 1992

Five turnovers looked to be too much for Florida State to overcome in Atlanta in 1992. Georgia Tech led 21-7 after three quarters and looked to have sealed the victory with a Scott Sisson field goal that put the Yellow Jackets ahead 24-14 with 5:20 to play. FSU quarterback Charlie Ward however, would not be deterred. Ward cut the lead to four with a 5-yard touchdown run two minutes later. The Seminoles were able to get the ball back as Corey Sawyer recovered a Dan Mowrey onside kick. Ward threw the game-winning touchdown to Kez McCorvey with 1:48 to play. Reggie Freeman sealed the victory by sacking Georgia Tech quarterback Shawn Jones in the end zone. FSU would score 15 points in the final minutes to remain perfect in ACC play. The Seminoles would go on to win the conference in their first season as a member.

No. 12: Florida State 23, Clemson 17 (Overtime)
Sept. 20, 2014

With reigning Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Jameis Winston suspended, Florida State trailed most of the way against Clemson in a match-up of top-25 teams early during the 2014 season. With under seven minutes to play, quarterback Sean Maguire found a wide open Rashad Greene downfield for a 74-yard touchdown to knot the score 17-17. With just over two minutes to play however, Maguire made a costly mistake by overthrowing Jesus Wilson on a pass that was intercepted by Jadar Johnson and returned to the FSU 26-yard-line. With time ticking away, the Tigers were setting up a short field goal when Florida State’s Eddie Goldman ripped the ball out of the hands of Clemson running back C.J. Davidson. The ball was recovered by FSU safety Nate Andrew and the contest went to overtime. In the extra period, it was again Goldman who made the big play. On 4th-and-1 from the FSU 16-yard-line, Goldman forced Clemson’s Adam Choice to try and bounce a handoff outside where he was swarmed by Seminoles short of the first down. It took the Seminoles just two plays to end the contest as running back Karlos Williams broke left for the 12-yard touchdown. The score gave Florida State a 23-17 victory as the Seminoles went on to win the ACC and reach the first-ever College Football Playoff.

Make Your Pick

To pick which contest was more thrilling, click below to vote in our Twitter poll. If you do not have a Twitter account, you can vote by emailing TDN editor Mike Ferguson at You can also vote in the comment section below. The winner will be announced with the next first round match-up.

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