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November 23, 2012
To celebrate FSU's run at a third straight state championship we are re-opening our 30-day free promotion. Get full coverage of FSU-UF, the ACC Championship game and tons of football recruiting coverage during this key stretch.
1) 1994: 'The Choke in Doak' No. 7 Florida State 31, No. 4 Florida 31 (Tallahassee) - Down 31-3 to a Steve Spurrier coached team, Florida State storms back with four fourth quarter touchdowns on the arm of Danny Kanell. The 10K or so Gator fans in attendance went from dancing in the isles early in the fourth quarter to looking for a place to hide as their huge lead quickly slipped away. While the game went in the record books as a "tie" Florida State fans will always consider the game a victory and UF fans a loss. I remember seeing Spurrier turning pale when he was asked during a post-game interview what it felt like to "lose a tie". If there was any doubt that the game was a victory for FSU, the 'Noles would go on to defeat the Gators again in the Sugar Bowl known as the 'Fifth Quarter in the French Quarter'.
3) 1996: No. 2 Florida State 24, No. 1 Florida 21 (Tallahassee) - Despite FSU riding a perfect 10-0 record and being the home team, Florida was favored because they had totally dominated every team on its schedule while FSU was not nearly as dominating in its 10 wins. The Seminoles got off to a blistering start taking a 17-0 lead in the first quarter. Under the direction of Heisman Trophy winning QB Danny Wuerffel, Florida would attempt a comeback but Warrick Dunn's 185 rushing yards and six quarterback sacks (and numerous pressures) were too much for the Gators to overcome and FSU would hold on for the upset victory. At the conclusion, Seminole fans rushed the field and took down the goal posts. Had UF not backed into a second chance rematch in the Sugar Bowl (known as the mulligan game to some FSU fans), this might have gone down as No. 1 on the list.
6) 2003: No. 9 Florida State 38, No. 11 Florida 34 (Gainesville) - In a game mired in controversy because of some questionable officiating, the Seminoles found a way to pull out an improbable victory on a game-winning drive under the direction of Chris Rix. The game would go back and forth but the Gators took a 34-31 lead late in the fourth quarter. With the crowd sensing victory on a fourth-and-12 play, Rix found wide receiver Dominic Robinson on a square-in route to keep the drive alive. Shortly thereafter Rix rolled to his right and threw a laser pass into the end zone to P.K. Sam for a 52-yard touchdown. There wasn't enough time left for UF to mount a final drive and FSU escaped Gainesville with the 38-34 win. The game would mark Bobby Bowden's final victory over the Gators.
7) 1998: No. 5 Florida State 23, No. 4 Florida 12 (Tallahassee) - The game started with a midfield brawl . During the scuffle, Florida QB Doug Johnson allegedly tried to hit Bobby Bowden with the football (not surprisingly he missed). With Chris Weinke out with an injured neck, FSU was an underdog and Marcus Outzen had the daunting task of directing the offense against an outstanding Florida defense. Outzen and Peter Warrick combined forces and had the Gators off balance all evening. The victory knocked Florida out of the national championship hunt and eventually resulted in FSU getting a shot at Tennessee for the title. The win also kept Spurrier winless in games at Doak Campbell Stadium.
9) 2010: Florida State 31, Florida 7 (Tallahassee) - Granted, neither team was ranked in the top 20 at the time, but the fact that FSU broke a six-game losing streak, won its first state championship in 11 years and clinched the Atlantic Division of the ACC all in one night pushes this one into the top 10.
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