The Daily Nole

Most Thrilling Wins in FSU History: First Round — No. 3 vs. No. 14

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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.

Wednesday’s match-up resulted in our second upset of the series as Florida State’s thrilling 16-13 victory over Clemson in 2010, the No. 11 seed, received 73 percent of the vote, knocking off the sixth-seeded 2003 double-overtime win over North Carolina State. That contest will go on to face the winner of our next match-up in the quarterfinals.

The final match-up of the first round is a pair of FSU road victories over highly-ranked teams. The No. 3 seed is the Seminoles’ dramatic 24-21 win at Clemson from 1988 while the No. 14 seed will be a 2007 upset at Boston College.

No. 3: Florida State 24, Clemson 21
Sept. 17, 1988

Against third-ranked Clemson in Death Valley, Florida State was up for the challenge most of the day. After trailing 14-7 at halftime, the Seminoles stormed ahead with a 76-yard punt return for a touchdown by Deion Sanders early in the third quarter and a short Dayne Williams touchdown run three minutes later. With just over two and a half minutes left in the contest however, Clemson drew even at 21. After the Seminoles went three-and-out on the ensuing possession, it looked as though the best FSU could hope for was a tie as head coach Bobby Bowden sent out the punt team. Rather than kicking the ball back to Clemson however, Bowden decided to take a chance — a chance he called “puntrooskie”. From the punt formation, the snap went to FSU’s up-back and a slew of Seminoles took off to the left. Unnoticed by Clemson, FSU’s LeRoy Butler took the ball from between the up-back’s legs and ran right. Butler went for 78 yards to the Clemson 1-yard-line. The Tigers were able to keep Florida State out of the end zone, but with 32 seconds remaining, Richie Andrews knocked home the game-winning field goal as the Seminoles won 24-21.

No. 14: Florida State 27, Boston College 17
Nov. 3, 2007

Florida State was just 5-3 when it visited No. 2 Boston College late in the 2007 season, but on a chilly night in Massachusetts, the Seminoles would never trail. FSU led 10-7 at halftime and 13-10 early in the fourth quarter when quarterback Drew Weatherford found De’Cody Fagg for a 42-yard touchdown to put the Seminoles up 20-10 with more than eight minutes to play. Boston College and Matt Ryan however, weren’t ready to let their national championship dreams die just yet. It took Ryan less than three minutes to answer as he found tight end Ryan Purvis for a short touchdown. Down 20-17, Ryan and the Eagles got the ball back with 3:30 to play from their own 7-yard-line. Boston College marched to its own 33-yard-line when FSU linebacker Geno Hayes put the game away. Ryan tossed a pass over the middle which was deflected and picked off by Hayes. Hayes returned Ryan’s fourth interception of the night 38 yards for a score, giving the Seminoles the 27-17 upset.

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 first quarterfinal match-up.

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