The Greatest FSU-UF Games

Wayne McGahee looks back to the six greatest games in the history of one of the fiercest rivalries in college football.

6. 1996 No. 1 Florida 21, No. 2 Florida State 24

Florida came in to Tallahassee undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the nation. Their offense was widely considered to be the best in the nation that year and was led by eventual Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel. The Seminoles came in ranked No. 2 and had arguably the top defense in the nation led by Peter Boulware.

Florida State started off fast as Boulware blocked a punt that led to the first score of the game. Wuerffel threw 3 first half interceptions and Florida State had a 17-0 first quarter lead. The Gators made a game of it however scoring a touchdown with just one minute left on the clock to make it 24-21. The ensuing onside kick went out of bounds, however, and Florida State hung on for a 24-21 victory.

This game would be higher in the rankings if not for the 1996 National Championship game where the Gators got revenge and crushed the Seminoles winning their first National Championship.

Full game:

5. 1998 No. 4 Florida 12, No. 5 Florida State 23

The fight before the game should tell you just how much these teams hate each other. Florida State had three players (who were not expected to play) ejected, while Florida's starting safety Tony George was tossed as well. A Florida State assistant coach Steve Gabbard was punched in the nose and UF quarterback Doug Johnson threw a football at Bobby Bowden. Bowden would later give the quote "If it was one of [the FSU quarterbacks], he'd have hit me."

Once the game started Florida struck first with a 50-yard touchdown pass. Florida State kicker Sebastian Janikowski made two field goals to put it to 7-6. Florida then forced a safety and kicked a field goal to put the Gators up 12-6 at halftime.

After halftime it was all Florida State. Marcus "Rooster" Outzen and Peter Warrick led the Seminoles to two more touchdowns and Janikowski added another field goal. This win put Florida State into the 1998 National Championship game that the Seminoles lost to Tennessee.

Full game:

4. 1993 No. 1 Florida State 33, No. 7 Florida 21

Florida State came into this game with hopes of playing in the National Championship game. The Noles came out firing early in the game. Florida State put up 13 points before Florida answered making it 13-7 going into halftime. On the opening drive of the second half Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward carved up the Gator secondary ending with a touchdown pass to Kez McCorvey.

Florida State took a 27-7 lead going into the 4th quarter. Florida would rally however, pulling within 6 points with six minutes to go in the game. Then one of the most famous plays in Florida State history happened. On third down from their own 21 Ward threw a 79 yard touchdown pass to freshmen running back Warrick Dunn who streaked down the sideline and clinched a 33-21 victory over the Gators. This game put Florida State into the National Championship game against Nebraska, which they won, guaranteeing Florida State's first ever National Championship. Full game:

3. 1994 No. 4, Florida 31, No. 7 Florida State 31 "The Choke at Doak"

Florida State opened up the game with a field goal on their first drive and that was the last thing to go well for the Seminoles for quite a while. Wuerffel threw 3 first half touchdown passes, two to wide receiver Jack Johnson, and led 24-3 at the half. Florida scored another touchdown in the third. It was 31-3 going into the fourth quarter and Seminole fans were leaving in droves.

Florida State began the quarter with the ball and quarterback Danny Kanell led the Seminoles right down the field as Zack Crockett plunged in from 5 yards out to give Florida State their first touchdown of the day. The Florida State defense forced a three-and-out and got the ball back on their own 39. Kanell led the team down the field in the hurry-up and capped the drive with a touchdown pass to Andre Cooper, which cut the lead to 14 with ten minutes to play. The Seminole defense forced another punt and Kanell was back on the field cutting through the Florida defense. He capped the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run and Florida State was within seven.

On the ensuing drive Wuerffel tried to throw the ball away, but cornerback James Colzie made an outstanding play and intercepted the ball at the Florida State 40 yard line. The offense drove down the field and capped the drive with a 5-yard Rock Preston touchdown. The game was tied 31-31 on the extra point. Florida got the ball back, but promptly punted. Florida State got the ball back but ran out of time. This game is largely considered the greatest fourth quarter comeback in college football history. The two teams would meet again a month later in what was called "the 5th quarter in the French Quarter". Florida State would go on to win that game 23-17.

Full game:

2. 2003 No.9 Florida State 38, No. 11 Florida 34

Florida fans are still howling about this one as many key calls went against them. Florida State opened up a 17-6 first half lead, but the Gators clawed their way back into the game with an 18 point third quarter. Florida took a 34-31 lead with 2:43 seconds left to go in the game on a Chris Leak touchdown pass to Ben Troupe.

On the next drive, Florida State had a 4th-and-14 at their own 24 when Chris Rix connected with Dominic Robinson for a 24 yard gain. The next play was arguably the best in Florida State history. Chris Rix heaved up a 52-yard touchdown pass to P.K. Sam who had managed to get behind the Florida defense. As time ran out the Florida State team gathered together and jumped on the Florida "F." The Florida players didn't take too kindly to this and a brawl ensued that only ended when the police started using pepper spray. The game will go down as one of the best in Florida State history and the most controversial in Florida history.

Full game:

1. 1964 No. 14 Florida 7, No. 12 Florida State 16 "Never FSU Never"

Throughout the first six games of the series Florida had won five and tied once. That one tie was categorized by Florida coach Ray Graves as "a death in the family". Florida, quarterbacked by Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Steve Spurrier, came out with "Never FSU Never" and "Go for 7" patches on their uniforms. Fred Biletnikoff had a first half touchdown and Florida State held a 13-0 halftime lead thanks to four first half fumbles. Spurrier led a touchdown drive during the third quarter, but didn't score again.

Les Murdock added another field goal and Florida State won its first game against Florida 16-7. Florida State used the momentum to go to its first major bowl, the Gator bowl, where they beat Oklahoma. The girls' school had defeated the mighty University of Florida for the first time.

Highlights:

Special thanks to David Block for the use of his YouTube videos.


Nole Digest Top Stories