“From an individual perspective, my freshman year we were playing against Florida in a big rival game at the end of the year. We were in the locker room and I was starting that game because Greg Jones got hurt. Bobby Bowden was like ‘We need you to get it done tonight, and if you don’t, we’ll need to pull Lorenzo Booker out of his redshirt.’ That motivated me to have a great game.” (From ESPN's Boston blog)
Our latest in a series celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Florida State's first national championship.
It was 1993, two decades ago, when Miami came to Tallahassee high on swagger, confident that they'd derail the undefeated Noles. Even Canes fans were talking trash as they jostled through the crowds entering Doak.
If you were there, you remember the dome of humidity that descended over the stadium. It may have been October but there was no hint of fall weather. You recall undersized WR Matt Frier getting behind the Canes secondary and outrunning them all the way to the end zone. And then there was the determined running of Sean Jackson and freshman Warrick Dunn, not to mention Charlie Ward's near flawless performance.
There were players hooked up to IVs at halftime, fierce hitting from start to finish, after the clock hit zeros, a curious site: William Floyd sitting on the turf around the 30-yard line just looking up at the scoreboard, drinking in the indelible memory of a beautiful sight: FSU 28 - Opponent 10.
1. So .......... Clemson has an improved defense over last season eh? Okaaaaaaaaaay. If you say so.
2. You really have to give credit to the die hard Clemson fans who stayed to the bitter end. All ninety six of them.
3. On the somewhat sparse numbers of orange and/or purple clad fans in the stands at the start of the 4th quarter, Mrs BFT offered an explanation. "They left to get plastered rather than stick around and watch their team get plastered."
4. And speaking of the 4th qtr, Gene Deckerhoff on the smallest radio broadcast facilities in the ACC: "The press box is a little larger when you have a lead like this."
5. During the past week leading up to the game, how many times did you hear the phrase Florida State has not won at Clemson since ....... ? Yes, yes .... we all know, FSU has not won at Memorial Stadium since ............ well, since 2013!!!!
6. Best Commentary on Clemson's Final Score Award goes to FSU's favorite radio play-by-play man when Geno observed, "The Tiger mascot does a push up for each point Clemson scores. He will NOT be winded tomorrow morning."
7. William Floyd on Nick O'Leary's crushing deflection of a would be Clemson tackler: "Is it December ....because he (Travis Blanks) just got lit up like a Christmas tree."
8. As you may have known, Clemson was out to set a record for the loudest stadium with Guiness Book of World Record personnel at the game to verify the accomplishment should it be obtained. Not sure about getting that loudest stadium record but they clearly had to have achieved a new mark for the quietest stadium sometime in that 4th quarter. That is if you eliminate the healthy contingent of Seminole fans doing the war chant.
9. In the various Keys to the Game articles during the week, I couldn't help but notice this one of great overall significance to the contest regarding ABC's play-by-play man. "Will Brent Musberger be making another pass at any co-eds?" He didn't, btw, obviously having to spend more time describing the numerous FSU scores.
10. Perusing other ACC games of this past week .....Memo to Miami's Stephen Morris, who threw approximately eleven INTs (at least it seemed that way) against UNC Thursday night: Could you please play like that again on November 2nd? Sans the game winning drive, of course.
Bonus Impressively Random and Un-impressively Meaningless Thoughts
Twenty years ago, Florida State sent another young signal caller to test his mettle against one of the most hostile environments in college football. Charlie Ward had only one game under his belt as a starter -- a win against Duke in which four interceptions marred a four TD performance.
A week later in Death Valley, Ward was picked off on FSU's first drive of the night. Nervous Nole fans wondered if the pressure cooker atmosphere was too much for a QB still learning on the job. In fact, Ward would throw three more INTs that night, one taken to the house in the third quarter to put the Tigers ahead 13-10 (seen in the video, along with other Clemson highlights).
Rather than rattling him, the gift wrapped pick six appeared to bring out the best in Ward. He tossed two more TDs, the last on a sustained drive beginning with a little more than five minutes left on the clock and the Clemson faithful making it impossible to hear anything on the field.
``I just decided to get in the huddle and throw the ball the way I know I can,`` Ward said. ``Our defense, receivers and offensive line had done the job all night. It was time for me to do my job."
The dramatic win at Death Valley served as a coming of age moment for the future Heisman Trophy winner, and a sign of things to come that season and the next.
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