Clemson vs. Florida State Series
Florida State has a 15-6 advantage
in the series with Clemson, but the Tigers have
won the last three and four of the last five.
Clemson became the first ACC school to defeat
the Seminoles three years in a row when it won
last year at Clemson by a 24-18 score. The
current Clemson seniors will have a chance to
become the first ACC senior class to beat the
Seminoles four straight years. Wake Forest has
won three in a row over Florida State, including
this year's win in Tallahassee.
Clemson won last year by the 24-18
score, as James Davis rushed for 102 yards in
18 attempts. In 2006, Davis scored the game
winning touchdown on a one yard run with eight
Clemson won the 2005 game at
Clemson in Charlie Whitehurst's last home game
by a 35-14 score. It was his second career win
over the Seminoles as he also gained victory by
a 26-10 score in 2003. Florida State's last win
came in 2004 at Florida State by a 41-22 score.
Clemson's other two wins in the series
took place at Florida State, in 1976 and in 1989.
The 1989 victory came in Danny Ford's last year
as Clemson coach, a 34-23 victory. The Tigers
used a 73-yard scoring run by Terry Allen and a
73-yard interception return by Wayne Simmons,
to jump to a 28-10 halftime lead. That was Florida
State's last loss that year and the Seminoles
went on to a 10-2 record and number-three final
ranking in the AP poll. Clemson also concluded
the season 10-2 and ranked 12th in the final AP
Florida State won 11 consecutive
games in the series prior to Clemson's victory
in 2003. All the wins were recorded by Bobby
Bowden, who has a 13-6 all-time record against
Clemson. Bobby Bowden has lost his last three
appearances at Clemson's Death Valley, but his
6-3 record is still the most victories by an opposing
head coach in the facility. Vince Dooley
(Georgia) is second with five.
The Clemson vs. Florida State games
between 1999-07 were known as The Bowden
Bowl, as Clemson was coached by Tommy
Bowden and Florida State by Bobby Bowden.
Bobby had a 5-4 advantage in those nine
games, but Tommy won the last three. It is the
only meeting of father and son head coaches
in Division FBS history. The first Bowden Bowl
came in 1999, a 17-14 victory for Florida State.
That FSU team went on to win the national
championship and the 17 points and three-point
victory margin were the smallest for Florida State
in that championship season.
Clemson will face a top 25 Florida
State team for the 19th consecutive time when
the two teams meet in Tallahassee. Florida
State has been ranked in the top 25 for every
meeting since 1988. The Seminoles are ranked
24th in both polls this week. Five of Clemson's
six wins in the series have been against top 20
Florida State teams. The only time Clemson
beat an FSU team not ranked in the top 25 was
in 1976 when Clemson won 15-12 in Bobby
Bowden's first year as head coach.
Rundown of Last Nine Clemson vs. FSU
1999—The 1999 game was a festive
atmosphere at Clemson as an all-time record
crowd of 86,092 attended the game. That record
will probably stand for many years due to existing
fire codes at Clemson Memorial Stadium. In
addition to the hype concerning the first coaching
match-up of father vs. son, Bobby Bowden
was going for his 300th career victory. He got the
win with a struggle, 17-14. It was the closest the
Seminoles came to losing in their 1999 National
Championship season. Clemson had two offensive
touchdowns to Florida State's one and the
Florida State 17 points were the fewest scored
by the Seminoles in 1999. Clemson drove to
the FSU 25 with two minutes left, but a 41-yard
field goal attempt by Tony Lazzara was tipped at
the line of scrimmage and FSU ran out the clock
2000-Florida State won in Tallahassee
by a 54-7 score. Clemson entered the game
with an 8-1 record and #10 national ranking,
while FSU was fourth in the nation. It was just
the third meeting of top 10 teams in ACC history.
Clemson was coming off a 31-28 last second
loss to Georgia Tech that had broken an eight-
game winning streak, the longest for the Tigers
under Tommy Bowden. Florida State gained 771
yards of total offense, most ever against the Tigers,
including an opponent record 521 through
the air. Florida State running back Davy Ford,
the brother of current Clemson receiver Jacoby
Ford, had an 82 yard run in the game, longest
against a Tommy Bowden coached Clemson
2001—In a game at Death Valley,
Clemson gained 463 yards of total offense, its
high total ever against Florida State, but still
lost 41-27. The Tigers could not stop freshman
quarterback Chris Rix, who threw for 369
yards, leading FSU to 557 yards of total offense.
Woody Dantzler kept it interesting with 336
yards of total offense, but it was not enough
as FSU won for the sixth straight time under
Bobby Bowden in Death Valley. His six wins are
the most by a Clemson opponent in the facility
that dates to 1942. Clemson ran a fake punt
for a touchdown, but the play was called back
because Clemson only had 10 men on the field
(not enough on the line of scrimmage)
2002—Florida State came away with a
48-31 victory in a game that was televised on a
Thursday night in Tallahassee by ESPN. Clemson's
31 points were the most for the Tigers in
Tallahassee since 1989. Clemson won the total
offense battle, 441-386, as Willie Simmons had a
career high 343 yards of offense. J.J. McKelvey
had five catches for 117 yards to help the offense.
Florida State got a 97-yard kickoff return
from Leon Washington and Greg Jones had 165
yards rushing and three touchdowns. Clemson
did successfully execute an on-side kick, still the
only on-side kick for the Tigers since 1979.
2003- Clemson finally defeated
Bobby Bowden in Death Valley with a 26-10
victory. He had been 6-0 at Clemson prior to
this game. It was the second of what would be
just three losses for Florida State in 2003. They
were coming off a 38-0 win at Notre Dame, and
Clemson was coming off a 45-17 loss at Wake
Forest. Florida State was ranked third in the nation
entering the game and that is still the highest
ranked team Clemson has defeated in its history.
Charlie Whitehurst threw for 272 yards to lead
Clemson as Bobby Bowden suffered a lost on
his birthday for the only time in his career.
2004—Justin Miller set an NCAA record
with 282 kickoff return yards, but the eighth-
ranked Seminoles defeated Clemson 41-22 in
Tallahassee. Clemson had five turnovers on offense
and gained just 173 yards. The Seminoles
had 33 more plays than Clemson. However, it
was still a 24-22 game with four minutes left in
the third period. But, FSU scored the last 17
points of the game. Leon Washington's 35-yard
touchdown run in the third period was the key.
2005—Clemson won for the second
time in three years with a 35-14 victory at Death
Valley. Clemson scored 21 points in the third period
to blow the game open. Charlie Whitehurst
threw for 269 yards on his senior day and Chansi
Stuckey caught 11 passes for 156 yards and two
touchdowns. Clemson did not allow a touchdown
by the 16th ranked Seminoles. The victory
was the 50th for Tommy Bowden in his Clemson
2006—James Davis scored on a
one-yard run with just eight seconds left to lead
Clemson to a 27-20 victory at Florida State. It
was the closest score in a Bowden Bowl since
the first Bowden Bowl in 1999. Florida State was
ranked ninth in the nation entering the contest
and the Tigers were unranked after losing the
previous week to Boston College in overtime.
Clemson held Florida State to 204 yards of total
offense, and it was just the third home ACC loss
for Florida State in 57 home ACC games. Gaines
Adams had seven tackles, including 2.5 sacks to
key the Clemson defense.
2007— Clemson had a 24-3 halftime
lead, then hung on for a 24-18 win over Florida
State in the season opener on Labor Day night.
Clemson defeated a 19-ranked Florida State
team in the process. Cullen Harper became
the first Clemson quarterback in history to beat
a ranked team in his first start. James Davis
had 102 yards rushing on 18 carries to lead the
Tigers Face Bobby Bowden on his Birthday
Bobby Bowden will turn 79 years old on Saturday (Nov. 8), when
Clemson faces Florida State. Bowden has a 3-1 record on his birthday
as Florida State head coach and the only loss was to a Clemson team
coached by his son, Tommy Bowden, in 2003. Clemson won that game
26-10 over a third-ranked Florida State team and that is still the highest
ranked team Clemson has defeated in its history.
Bowden was born in Birmingham, AL on November 8, 1929.
Clemson's interim head coach, Dabo Swinney, was also born in Birmingham,
AL. His date of birth was November 20, 1969, so Swinney will be
38 when the game is played this Saturday, but will turn 39 the Thursday
before Clemson's game at Virginia.
Getting back to Bobby Bowden, he has a 13-6 record against
Clemson in his coaching career. All the meetings have been since he
became Florida State's head coach in 1976. He has a 6-3 record against
Clemson in Clemson Memorial Stadium and those six wins are the most by
any opposing coach in Death Valley. He has a 7-3 record against Clemson
Conversely, Clemson has beaten Bowden six times since he
has been the head coach at Florida State. That is the third most wins over
Bowden as Seminoles coach in his 33 years with the program. Miami has
the most wins with 20, while Florida is second with 16. Clemson has six,
followed by five for Auburn and NC State.
If Clemson gains victory on Saturday it would give Clemson four
straight wins over the Seminoles. This would be the first ACC senior class
to have a sweep of Florida State. The University of Florida has defeated
Florida State four straight years entering this year and Wake Forest won a
third straight with its victory earlier this year. But, Clemson could become
the first ACC school to do it as an ACC school. Miami (FL) defeated
Florida State six times in a row between 2000-04, but the Hurricanes were
not in the ACC at the time.
Fisher vs. Koenning
The matchup between Florida State's offensive coordinator
Jimbo Fisher and Clemson defensive coordinator Vic Koenning is an
intriguing one. Fisher is in his second year at Florida State after seven
successful seasons at LSU in the same capacity. In 2006 LSU was 11th
in the nation in total offense and ninth in scoring, thanks in part to the play
of number-one NFL draft choice Jamarcus Russell, who was third in the
nation in passing efficiency last year. Florida State leads the ACC in total
offense and scoring offense so far this year.
Koenning has taken Clemson to a top 25 national ranking in all
four major defensive statistical categories in each of the last three years,
the first time Clemson has been done three straight years. Clemson is 16th
in the nation in total defense this year.
Clemson won the contest last year by a 24-18 score. Clemson
held Florida State to 256 yards of total offense and just eight first downs in
Koenning and Fisher have competed against each other before.
In 2004, when Koenning was defensive coordinator at Troy, his Trojans
went to LSU and faced Fisher's LSU offense. The result was a 24-20 LSU
win in front of a Tigers homecoming crowd of over 89,000. LSU had to
score a fourth quarter touchdown to gain the victory, an important win for
the defending National Champions on the way to a 9-3 season in 2004.
LSU gained just 57 yards rushing that night, the fewest by
Fisher's offense all year. They would end the year 20th in the nation in
rushing with an average of 193 per game. Troy would end that year eighth
in the nation in rushing defense.
NOTES: Clemson at Florida State
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