The Daily Nole

FSU’s Top 10 Moments vs. Clemson — Part I

Jim Gund /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

Florida State and Clemson will square off on Saturday in Tallahassee for a contest that hasn’t had the ACC and national implications as in years past. The Tigers remain a perennial power at 7-0 and ranked second in the country while FSU is still trying to find its way under first-year head coach Willie Taggart.

Saturday’s contest will be the 32nd meeting between the schools. Although that isn’t that large of a sample size, the Seminoles have had some memorable moments against the Tigers — too many to narrow down to five.

In a 2-part series, we’ll be looking at FSU’s 10 best moments all-time against Clemson. We start our countdown by going from No. 10 to No. 6:

10. Warrick’s Monster Day
Sept. 20, 1997
(5) Florida State 35, (16) Clemson 28

Clemson had an upset in mind as it played host to No. 5 Florida State early on in 1997, but there was one Seminole that the Tigers couldn’t account for — wide receiver Peter Warrick. Warrick had a career-day, finishing with 249 yards receiving on eight catches and touchdown grabs of 48 and 80 yards. Warrick also returned a punt 90 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter in a 35-28 victory. The 249 yards receiving by Warrick ranks third all-time in FSU history. Warrick accounted for 69 percent of the FSU offense in the victory.

9. The Bowden Bowl
Oct. 23, 1999
(1) Florida State 17, Clemson 14

The 1999 contest at Death Valley featured the first ever coaching meeting between father and son as Bobby Bowden’s top-ranked Seminoles faced Tommy Bowden’s Clemson Tigers. The contest would be the closest game all season for eventual national champion FSU as the Seminoles trailed 14-6 late in the third quarter. Travis Minor plunged in from one yard out with 10 seconds to go in the quarter for the only Florida State touchdown of the night, which was followed by a 2-point conversion as Chris Weinke hit Dan Kendra to knot the score. Sebastian Janikowski connected on a 39-yard field goal with less than six minutes to go. Clemson kicker Tony Lazzara missed a 41-yard field goal with less than two minutes to play. The win served as the 300th for Bobby Bowden in his legendary career.

8. Ward Leads Death Valley Comeback
Sept. 12, 1992
(5) Florida State 24, (15) Clemson 20

It looked as though Florida State’s introduction to the ACC road environment was going to be unwelcoming one. Clemson had taken a 20-17 lead early in the fourth quarter on a 35-yard touchdown pass from Richard Moncrief to Terry Smith with more than 11 minutes to play. The Tigers had intercepted FSU quarterback Charlie Ward four times on the night and needed only one stop to seal the upset as the Seminoles began at their own 23-yard-line with 5:26 to play. But for all his early-season struggles, Ward was methodical on the final drive, hitting four receivers on the 77-march, which was ultimately capped with a 9-yard scoring strike to Kevin Knox with 2:08 remaining. FSU safety John Davis was able to seal the victory with an interception on the final drive.

7. Death Valley Beatdown
Oct. 19, 2013
(5) Florida State 51, (3) Clemson 14

The only ever top-5 match-up between the teams took place in Death Valley in 2013 and ended with FSU scoring more points than any visiting opponent ever. Cornerback Lamarcus Joyner led the FSU defense, accounting for an interception and two forced fumbles, including one on the first play of the game. The other set up a defensive score by end Mario Edwards Jr. On the offensive side of the ball, it was a career-night for eventual Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, who passed for 444 yards and accounted for four total touchdowns. Wide receiver Rashad Greene and tight end Nick O’Leary had big receiving nights, combining for 307 yards receiving. Greene scored twice in the victory while Ronald Darby came away with an interception. The Seminoles would go on to win their third national championship.

6. Prime Time Calls His Shot
Sept. 17, 1988
(10) Florida State 24, (3) Clemson 21

This won’t be the only moment from this contest to make the countdown, but Deion Sanders’ “called shot” was perhaps the Jim Thorpe Award winner’s most memorable moment from his college days. With FSU trailing 14-7 early the third quarter, Sanders told Clemson players following a defensive stop for the Seminoles that he was going to take the ensuing punt back for a touchdown. The shifty Fort Myers native made good on his promise, bursting straight up the middle and seamlessly outrunning defenders on the way to a 76-yard touchdown to tie the game in an eventual 24-21 victory.

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

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