The Daily Nole

Most Thrilling Wins in FSU History: Second Quarterfinal

Michael Schwarz/FSU athletics

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 quarterfinals kicked off Friday with our top-seed — the 1994 Orange Bowl — getting 86 percent of the vote to beat the eighth-seed 2005 season-opening victory over Miami.

Saturday’s match-up features a pair of contests that were won on late touchdowns. The No. 4 seed in our series if Florida State’s thrilling 2003 victory over Florida. It received 97 percent of the vote to beat out another comeback win — the 13th-seeded 1976 victory over Southern Mississippi.

The victory will be taking on the No. 12 seed in our bracket — the 2014 overtime victory over Clemson. It received 74 percent of the vote to upset the fifth-seeded 1992 victory at Georgia Tech. That was known as the contest that gave birth to the “fast break offense”.

No. 4: Florida State 38, Florida 34
Nov. 29, 2003

In a contest that had four lead changes in the second half, Florida State’s 2003 trip to Gainesville looked to be a lost cause as the Seminoles faced 4th-and-14 from their own 24-yard-line, down 34-31. Quarterback Chris Rix was able to keep the Seminoles’ hopes alive with a 24-yard strike to wide receiver Dominic Robinson to move the chains. One play later, Rix went for the jugular. Forced to roll to his right, Rix unloaded a pass toward the end zone. With Florida safety Guss Scott’s back turned, FSU wide receiver P.K. Sam was able to haul in the pass for a 52-yard touchdown with 55 seconds remaining. The Seminoles were able to tackle a scrambling Chris Leak, Florida’s quarterback, on the final play of the game to preserve the victory.

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 hand-off 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 quarterfinal match-up.

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