The Daily Nole

50-Year Nole Anniversary: The Touchdown That Wasn’t

Conjuring up disdain from Florida State fans when it comes rival Florida isn’t difficult. There have been plenty of tight games between the two over the years, but what happened on this day a half century ago may have been the most gut-wrenching moment in series history…at least for FSU fans.

Florida State took a 19-14 lead into the fourth quarter on Oct. 8, 1966 in Tallahassee, but Florida answered less than five minutes into the final period as quarterback Steve Spurrier hit Paul Ewaldsen for a 41-yard touchdown. The 2-point conversion that followed gave the rival Gators a 22-19 lead.

That score would remain for more than 10 minutes until Gary Pajcic hit Lane Fenner for a 45-yard touchdown with 17 seconds remaining…or so it would seem. Photographs taken from the play show Fenner with possession of the ball and a knee down in bounds with about a whole yard to spare. Officials however, ruled that Fenner was out of bounds and that the pass was incomplete.

Florida would win the game 22-19 to hand FSU a loss it still refuses to acknowledge and Spurrier would go on to win the Heisman Trophy. The Gators at the time, improved to 7-1-1 all-time over FSU and would win nine of the next 10. If only there were replay reviews back then…

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

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