Top Five Wins of the Decade

The 2000's are now behind us, NoleDigest.com takes a look at the five biggest wins of the decade.


Sam catches winning TD vs. Gators
AP

1. Florida State 38, Florida 34. November 29, 2003.

This was the last win vs. UF and it was a thrilling victory which might have been the highlight of Chris Rix's career.

Rix hit P.K. Sam for a 52 yard touchdown to win the game. "I think DBs kind of give up after about 40 yards," Sam said. "I looked up, the ball was in the air. I was like, `Please catch this,' and I held on and that was it."

Rix(252 yards passing) previously kept the drive alive with a 4th and 17 conversion. Another key play in the game was Pat Watkins 25 yard fumble recovery for a TD to tie the game at 24.

The victory was marred by the incessant crying of the "UF faithful", it even extended to the players. The ref's left the field with a police escort, ""They deserved it. They called a bad game," Florida offensive lineman Shannon Snell said. Bowden took a different approach, "I sure do like them when they go to me," he said.

A fight broke out after the game which certainly was unnecessary.

"It's my 28th game playing the University of Florida, and I don't think I've seen a better one than that," Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden said.

2. Florida State 10, Miami 7. September 5, 2005.

This was not a very pretty game......in fact, those in attendance on both sides felt that it was an "embarrassment to the rivalry" and they were probably right.

However it makes the list because FSU was riding a six game losing streak to Miami and very much needed a win in the series. For once it was not the FSU special teams that faltered, it was Miami's as they fumbled the snap on a game tying 28 yard field late in the 4th quarter.

The Noles followed it up with a 13-10 win the following year in Miami to turn the tide in the series once again.

3. Florida State 54, Clemson 7. November 4, 2000.

FSU had lost to Miami earlier in the year in one of the greatest games in the rivalries history. We not only needed to run the table to make the National Championship game, but needed to do it in style.

That was accomplished with an absolute woodshed beating of the Tiger's, one of the reasons FSU got over the hump in the voters eyes to make the title game.

It was "Bowden Bowl 2" and Chris Weinke went absolutely off. He threw for 521 yards including a beautiful play-action TD to Snoop Minnis that covered 98 yards. Weinke dropped back flat footed in the endzone selling the fake and Minnis got 20 yards behind defenders for the easy score. "That's called a `gym' play," Bowden said. "That means we don't work on it outside where someone might see it. We work on it in the gym. It worked, and we had a feeling it would."

It was a stats day for WRs as Atrews Bell(6-111), Javon Walker(6-109), Snoop Minnis(4-163), and Anquan Boldin(4-54) all had huge days. Travis Minor had 13 carries for 102 yards on the ground.

"I felt bad, I really felt bad," Bobby Bowden said after improving to 2-0 in the father-son coaching matchup.

"But the only thing I could tell him is that I've been through it. I said, `You're young. You ought to go through it.' I know exactly how he feels and there's not a thing you can say or do when something like this occurs."


Bowden carried off field after WVU bowl win
AP

4. Florida State 33, West Virginia 21. January 1, 2010.

Bobby Bowden leaves a winner with a bowl win in his final game. He exited the game as the second winningest coach of all-time.

Running back Jermaine Thomas rushed for two TDS and 121 yards and freshmen E.J. Manuel gave hope to the future with a 17-24 for 189 yard performance. He added 70 yards on the ground and a TD.

The game was about Bowden, "The winning was really a bonus," Bowden said. "Knowing it's your last game, I'll be honest with you, I'm kind of interested in this retirement business. I ain't got to set my alarm no more, I'll get up when I'm darn good and ready, then like I say, go out and look for a job."

A competitor to his last breath, Bowden was lobbying for some more wins, "How about them 22 wins I got at South Georgia College? How come that don't count?" Bowden said, talking about where he was from 1956-58, before heading to Samford. "I know it doesn't count NCAA, but will somebody mention, please, that I have 400 wins during my lifetime?"

Officially he departs with a 389-129-4 record.

5. Florida State 30, Florida 7. November 18, 2000.

After the Clemson drilling, FSU needed to beat rival UF to reach the title game and doing it in dominating fashion certainly helped the cause.

Chris Weinke had another big game throwing for 353 yards and once again Snoop Minnis was the beneficiary(8-187, 2 TDs).

Weinke became the ACC's leading passer of all time with 9,789 yards and bolstered his Heisman campaign with the performance.

After the Gator's tied it at 7 in the first quarter, the Noles just dominated, tacking on a TD to end the first quarter and then we put the game away with a pair of third quarter scores.

The loss put Steve Spurrier at 0-5-1 at Doak Campbell Stadium.


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