The Daily Nole

Most Thrilling Wins in FSU History: Third Quarterfinal

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Our series where you pick the most thrilling victory in Florida State football history has moved past the first round and into the quarterfinals.

On Saturday, the fourth-seeded 2003 victory over Florida advanced to the semifinals by receiving 55 percent of the vote. It defeated our No. 12 seed — the 2014 overtime victory over Clemson.

Sunday’s match-up features a pair of victories for the Seminoles under Jimbo Fisher. The first is Florida State’s 34-31 victory over Auburn for the 2014 BCS National Championship. The No. 2 seed in our bracket received 97 percent of the vote beating last season’s win over Miami — the No. 15 seed.

It’ll be paired up with the No. 7 seed in our bracket. That’s the controversial 2014 victory over Notre Dame. That contest beat the 1988 Fiesta Bowl in our bracket by earning 74 percent of the vote.

No. 2: Florida State 34, Auburn 31 (BCS National Championship)
Jan. 6, 2014

Vying for its first national championship in 14 years, No. 1 Florida State couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start as the Seminoles fell behind 21-3 in the first half in Pasadena. Sparked by a successful fake punt, FSU rallied for the next 17 points to pull within one early in the fourth quarter. After Auburn kicked a field goal to pad its lead, the Seminoles grabbed the lead on a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Kermit Whitfield with under six minutes to play, 27-24. Known for living on the edge all season, the Tigers would not go quietly. After converting a long third down earlier in the drive, Tre’ Mason put Auburn ahead with 1:19 left on a 37-yard touchdown run in which he broke several FSU tackles. For Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Jameis Winston however, 1:19 was too much time. Starting from his own 20-yard-line, Winston marched the Seminoles 80 yards in seven plays. Winston capped the drive with a 2-yard touchdown toss to Kelvin Benjamin with just 17 seconds remaining. The victory not only was gave FSU its first title in 14 years, but it snapped a string of seven straight national champions coming out of the SEC.

No. 7: Florida State 31, Notre Dame 27
Oct. 18, 2014

It was No. 2 Florida State against No. 5 Notre Dame in a prime time contest where teams traded scores for most of the night. Most of the way, it was Notre Dame who had the lead. It seemed as though every time the Fighting Irish would jump in front however, FSU had an answer. Notre Dame led 17-10 at halftime, but after a pair of third quarter touchdowns for the Seminoles, the game headed to the final quarter knotted at 24. After Kyle Brindza put Notre Dame back in front 27-24 with a long field goal, FSU took its first lead of the night as Karlos Williams capped 10-play, 75-yard drive with a short touchdown run. But the Notre Dame defense stiffened and with about three minutes to go, the Fighting Irish began what would be their final drive in Florida State territory. It looked as though Florida State was going to get the job done after linebacker Terrance Smith sacked Notre Dame’s Everett Golson to force a 4th-and-18. With the game in the balance however, Golson scrambled to his right and found Corey Robinson for a 20-yard gain and a first down. With 17 seconds to play, Notre Dame faced a 4th-and-goal from the FSU 2-yard-line. Again, Golson and Robinson hooked up for what appeared to be the winning score with 13 seconds remaining, but the Fighting Irish were called for offensive pass interference, pushing Notre Dame back to the 17-yard-line. With one last chance to get Notre Dame into the end zone, Golson’s pass was intercepted by FSU’s Jacob Pugh as the Seminoles held on.

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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