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November 23, 2012

Ten greatest Florida State wins over Florida

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'.

2) 1993: No. 1 Florida State 33, No. 7 Florida 21 (Gainesville) - In a game that featured two future Heisman Trophy winners and with national championship implications on the line the Seminoles held off the Gators in front of a raucous crowd in the Swamp. Florida State appeared to have the game in hand with a 27-7 lead early in the fourth quarter. However, freshman Danny Wuerffel led the Gators to a couple late scores to cut the lead to 27-21 and the momentum had swung to the home team. In one of the most memorable plays in FSU history, Charlie Ward hooked up with Warrick Dunn on a third-and-long and the speedy freshman back would race down the sideline for a 79-yard score to put the game away. With the win the 'Noles secured a spot in the national championship game against Nebraska and would go on to win their first national championship.

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.

4) 1990: No. 8 Florida State 45, No. 6 Florida 30 (Tallahassee) - This was the first ever meeting between Bobby Bowden and Steve Spurrier and the first time the two programs met with both ranked in the top 10. The game got off with a bang with Casey Weldon hitting Lawrence Dawsey for a 76-yard touchdown on the second play from scrimmage. FSU's talented receiver put a brilliant move on all-SEC defensive back Will White and Weldon helped with a perfectly timed pump-fake. Steve Spurrier 's high powered offense couldn't keep up with Amp Lee's running and Dawsey's pass catching efforts and 'Noles took a 38-16 lead into the fourth quarter. Florida would try to mount a comeback but it was too little too late. All-American linebacker Marvin Jones would have a monster game with 18 tackles and two for loss.

5) 1987: No. 3 Florida State 28, Florida 14 (Gainesville) - After losing six straight to the rival Gators this was a must win for the 9-1 Seminoles. After the heartbreaking one-point loss to Miami the month before FSU need a win to keep its hopes at a national championship alive. Despite being a heavy favorite Florida State would fall behind 14-3 early in the second quarter. However, FSU's defense could clamp down and kept the home team off the scoreboard for the rest of the way. Four Derek Schmidt field goals allowed the 'Noles to get back into the game. Quarterback Danny McManus would orchestrate two long touchdown drives in the second half that were capped off by one-yard Dayne Williams' touchdowns. Sammy Smith and Dexter Carter both rushed for over 100 yards in the game.

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.

8) 1964 : No. 12 Florida State 16, No. 14 Florida 7 (Tallahassee) - This was Florida State's first ever win over Florida in the series. In the week leading up to the game the Florida players wore stickers on their helmets that said "Never, FSU, Never." The 'Noles took control in the second quarter when quarterback Steve Tensi hit Fred Biletnikoff for a 55-yard touchdown. The Seminole defense pestered Gator quarterback Steve Spurrier all day and would force six turnovers. With the win FSU earned a berth into the Gator Bowl to play Oklahoma.

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.

10) Jan. 1 1995: 'Fifth Quarter in the French Quarter - No. 7 Florida State 23, No. 5 Florida 17 (New Orleans, LA) - Before the game the scoreboard in the Super Dome showed a 31-31 score and a fifth quarter yet to be played. The game was dubbed the "Fifth Quarter in the French Quarter" following the tie in Tallahassee a little over a month earlier between the same two teams. With the score tied at 3-3 early Louisiana native Warrick Dunn completed a halfback pass to Omar Ellison for 73 yards. On FSU's next possession quarterback Danny Kanell hooked up with Kez McCorvey to put the 'Noles up 17-3. Florida would score a late touchdown to make it close but All-American LB Derrick Brooks would seal the game with an interception on UF's final possession.



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