The Daily Nole

55-Year Nole Anniversary: FSU Drubs No. 5 Kentucky, 48-6

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Florida State had never defeated an AP-ranked opponent as it entered its 18th season of football in 1964. The best that the Seminoles had done was play rival and No. 17 Florida to a 3-3 tie in 1961.

That would change on this day five and a half decades ago. The Seminoles did so in emphatic fashion with a 48-6 trouncing of No. 5 Kentucky.

FSU was 3-0 as it entered Doak Campbell Stadium to face the fifth-ranked Wildcats on Oct. 10, 1964. Kentucky was 3-0. After upsetting No. 1 Ole Miss in Oxford, the Wildcats defeated No. 7 Auburn, 20-0.

The defense had headlined the FSU team through three games as it outscored its first three opponents, 60-0. On that Saturday afternoon, the offense awakened.

Before the Wildcats could blink, they were on the short end of a 21-0 first-quarter score. After Steve Tensi threw touchdown passes of two yards to Lee Narramore and of 53 yards to Fred Biletnikoff, Phil Spooner rushed for his first of two 2-yard touchdown runs in the first half. His second came in the second quarter and gave the Seminoles a 27-0 advantage at the break.

The second half was more of the same as Tensi and Biletnikoff hooked up again on a scoring strike — this time from eight yards out. Wayne Giardino and Ed Pritchett capped the scoring for Florida State as each recorded fourth-quarter touchdown runs.

Trailing 48-0, Kentucky’s only solace came in not getting shut out. For 239 minutes and 31 seconds to start the 1964 season, the Seminoles had kept opponents off the scoreboard. After a muffed punt set Kentucky up inside the FSU 5-yard-line, Frank Antonini scored on a 2-yard touchdown run.

Biletnikoff finished with 104 yards receiving on four catches while Tensi finished the day an efficient 10-for-15 passing with three touchdowns. Defensively, FSU held the Wildcats to just 147 total yards and to less than a yard per carry rushing.

Avery Sumner finished with a team-high 15 tackles and a fumble recovery for the Seminoles. Bill McDowell added 13 tackles and a forced fumble. Winfred Bailey tallied 10 tackles and an interception. Donovan Smith also came away with a pick for FSU.

The victory put FSU at 4-0 in what would be its greatest campaign ever at the time under head coach Bill Peterson. Florida State would complete a 9-1-1 season with its first ever win over Florida, a 36-19 trouncing of Oklahoma in the Gator Bowl and its first national ranking.

It would be just over a year later before FSU knocked off another top-5 team as it took care of No. 5 Georgia 10-3 in Tallahassee in 1965. Over the years, many a ranked opponent have fallen victim to the Seminoles on the gridiron. The first occasion came on this day 55 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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