The Daily Nole

35-Year Nole Anniversary: FSU Blasts Reigning National Champ Miami

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A heartbreaking loss for Florida State on a short field goal as time expired late in the 1983 season allowed Miami to stun Nebraska in the Orange Bowl and win its first national championship. Early on in 1984, the Seminoles would get revenge and in a big way.

On this day 35 years ago, FSU took down Miami in a top-15 match-up in the Orange Bowl, 38-3. It would mark the first time that the Seminoles had ever defeated a reigning national champion.

FSU was ranked No. 15 in the country while the Hurricanes were No. 4 when the Seminoles made the trip to South Florida on Sept. 22, 1984. The Hurricanes were 3-1 with a loss at Michigan while FSU was 2-0, but the contest would result in what at the time was the Seminoles’ largest margin of victory ever over their southernmost rivals.

FSU led 9-0 at halftime, thanks to three Derek Schmidt field goals, including a then school-record 54-yard make. The second half was when the onslaught began.

Wide receiver Jessie Hester set the tone in the second half when he took a reverse 77 yards for a touchdown on FSU’s first possession after halftime. After Eric Thomas found Hassan Jones for the 2-point conversion, Roosevelt Snipes made it 24-0 with a 4-yard touchdown less than six minutes into the second half.

Miami broke up the shutout early in the fourth quarter on a 36-yard field goal by Greg Cox, but that would be the lone highlight for the Hurricanes. Thomas would again find Jones in the end zone — this time for a touchdown — and Snipes would add a second rushing touchdown with less than seven minutes to go to cap the rout.

FSU nearly doubled up on Miami when it came to total yardage, tallying 478 to 247 for the Hurricanes. Hester finished with 102 yards rushing on just two carries to go with five catches for 116 yards. FSU finished with 284 yards rushing in the victory.

Defensively, Eric Williams intercepted a pair of Bernie Kosar passes for Florida State. Isaac Williams, Fred Jones and Stanley Scott all had two sacks apiece for an FSU defense that finished with eight.

Following the victory, FSU would ascend to No. 9 in the polls, but after a 4-0 start, the Seminoles would go just 3-3-2 over their final eight games. The blowout of Miami would serve as the highlight of the 1984 campaign. The victory still serves as the only win ever for Florida State over a reigning national champion and it came on this day 35 years ago.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson. Like The Daily Nole on Facebook. To pitch an idea, author a post or to learn more about The Daily Nole, email Mike Ferguson at

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