The Daily Nole

Most Thrilling Wins in FSU History: First Quarterfinal

Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Our series where you pick the most thrilling victory in Florida State football history has moved past the first round and into the quarterfinals. The first round concluded Thursday with the No. 3 seed of FSU’s 1988 win at Clemson ousting the 2007 upset of Boston College, our No. 14 seed.

Friday’s match-up features the No. 1 overall seed in our tournament — the 1994 Orange Bowl. In that contest, Florida State defeated Nebraska for its first national championship. It advanced by earning 83 percent of the vote over the 1989 Sugar Bowl win over Auburn, our 16th seed.

It’ll be taking on our No. 8 seed — the 2005 season-opening victory over Miami. In its match-up with the ninth-seeded 2002 Eddie Robinson Classic against Iowa State, the Labor Day win over the Hurricanes received a whopping 96 percent of the vote.

No. 1: Florida State 18, Nebraska 16 (1994 Orange Bowl)
Jan. 1, 1994

The 1994 Orange Bowl was ultimately the contest that handed Florida State its first national championship. Against No. 2 Nebraska, Florida State was a heavy favorite and led 15-7 entering the final quarter. After a Lawrence Phillips touchdown and a Byron Bennett field goal however, FSU found itself on the short end of a 16-15 score with 1:16 remaining. With Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward at the held, FSU drove deep into Nebraska territory to set up Scott Bentley’s 22-yard go-ahead field goal with 21 seconds remaining. With FSU head coach Bobby Bowden already doused with Gatorade after watching Nebraska’s Trumane Bell reach Florida State’s 28-yard-line as time expired, officials cleared the rushed field and put one second back on the clock, giving Bennett a chance to win the game for the Cornhuskers. Fortunately for the Seminoles, his kick sailed wide and FSU escaped.

No. 8: Florida State 10, Miami 7
Sept. 5, 2005

Florida State entered the 2005 Labor Day opener at Doak Campbell Stadium having lost six straight to Miami. The Seminoles raced to a 10-0 lead behind a short touchdown run from James Coleman and a field goal by Gary Cismesia. Miami cut the lead to 10-7 in the second quarter on a touchdown pass from Kyle Wright to Ryan Moore. Neither team would score again, but with time ticking away, Miami was threatening to rip out FSU’s heart once again. On a drive that started inside the Hurricanes’ own 10-yard-line, Miami took more than nine minutes off the clock and reached Florida State’s 2. Though the FSU defense bent, it wouldn’t break as the Seminoles’ ninth sack of Wright on the evening pushed the Hurricanes back to the 11-yard-line. Jon Peattie came on for the Hurricanes to attempt a 28-yard field goal which looked to be a sure thing. Throughout FSU and Miami’s history, it was always kicking woes that seemed to go against the Seminoles, but this time, it was the Hurricanes who would be bitten. Peattie was never able to get the kick away as punter and holder Brian Monroe was unable to handle the snap. The Seminoles took over and picked up one first down to run out the clock and snap their 6-game skid to the Hurricanes.

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 quarterfinal match-up.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply