Steve Spurrer vs. FSU Flashback

Florida State and Florida seemed to save their best games for each other. Each November, the Seminoles and Gators turned their rivalry game into a showcase game: two of the nation's most talented teams faced off, often with national championship implications at stake.

FSU faced Florida 14 times in Steve Spurrier's time as the Gators' coach (1990-2001). For all but one game, both teams were in the top 10 — and six times both FSU and Florida were in the top 5.

With FSU set to play Spurrier's South Carolina squad on Dec. 31 in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, here's a look back at three huge wins, three crushing losses and one stunning tie in the series against Spurrier:

Three huge wins

1993 - FSU 33, Florida 21: FSU wrapped up an 11-1 regular season, stopping Florida's 23-game win streak at The Swamp. Charlie Ward passed for 446 yards - including a 79-yard catch and run by Warrick Dunn - as the Seminoles booked a spot in the national championship game.

1996 - FSU 24, Florida 21: Two undefeated teams - Florida was No. 1 and FSU was No. 2 - on the last week of the regular season. Dunn ran for a career-high 185 yards and FSU had six sacks of Danny Wuerffel.

1999 - FSU 30, Florida 23: The No. 1 Seminoles completed a perfect regular season by holding off the No. 3 Gators in Gainesville. Chris Weinke passed for 263 yards and a TD to Snoop Minnis, while Peter Warrick ran for another TD. Florida had a final chance to win, but Jesse Palmer's last second-throw fell incomplete in the end zone.

Three crushing losses

1997 - Florida 52, FSU 20: A little over a month later, Spurrier comes up with a game plan to turn the tables on FSU as Florida wins the national title in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. Wuerffel plays mostly in the shotgun to give him extra time to avoid the Seminoles' pass rush. Florida had a 24-17 lead at halftime and outscored FSU 28-3 in the second half.

1997 - Florida 32, FSU 29: The teams traded scores in what was arguably one of the best games in the series. No. 2 FSU was 10-0 going in to the game. The Seminoles grabbed a 29-25 lead after a Sebastian Janikowski field goal with 2:38 left in the game, but Florida struck right back on Doug Johnson's 63-yard pass to Jacquez Green - which set up Fred Taylor's 1-yard plunge.

1991 - Florida 14, FSU 9: Casey Weldon passed for 305 yards but FSU rushers Amp Lee, Sean Jackson, Edgar Bennett and William Floyd were held to a combined 70 yards. FSU also intercepted three passes but couldn't convert those opportunities into enough points.

One stunning tie

1994 – FSU 31, Florida 31: Many FSU fans shut the TV off or walked out of Doak Campbell Stadium with the No. 4 Gators ahead 31-3 at the start of the fourth quarter. But Danny Kanell led FSU back with a comeback that fans of both schools will never forget. FSU used TD runs by Zack Crockett, Rock Preston, Kanell and also a Kanell pass to Andre Cooper for the tie. After the game, FSU coach Bobby Bowden called it "the best win, um, tie he's ever had."


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