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.
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.
1. And as we bid a fond farewell to our soon to be former conference brethren Maryland Terrapins as they leave for BIG having compiled an O-fer record at Doak Campbell, we can only observe how appropriate it was for the Terps to wear white unis. Made it much easier, rather than having to hoist a surrender flag en route to the 63-0 beatdown they suffered.
2. Speaking of 63-0, one can only wonder will the 25th ranked Terrapins be ranked when the polls come out? Perhaps the more accurate question would be will the Terps even be listed as "Others Receiving Votes".
3. As the game was clearly out of hand as evidenced by FSU's insertion of the second string QB as well as numerous "consulting the roster in the program players", general rules of sportsmanship would be to keep it on the ground and just run the ball the rest of the game. Oops!!! One Jacob Coker lengthy touchdown run later .... So much for that conventional wisdom. Perhaps FSU should have resorted to just crawling with the ball.
4. The wit and wisdom of Mrs. BFT. As replay called for an eyebrow raising review of Kenny Shaw's TD catch, TV showed the slo mo replay of said touchdown, presumably the same one the replay booth was viewing as well. Came the comment from the couch, "They're kidding, right? Do they want to make sure he caught the ball and had both feet down .... both hands too .... and had his butt down just for good measure in the end zone two yards before he went out of bounds?" Based on that replay, can't say I disagree with her.
5. Jimbo Fisher on the pre-game show commenting on the game. "We better have our A game." By A game can we assume he meant A as in ass kicking game?
6. Everyone can rest easy. Former FSU defensive line player Darnell Docket, who made the bet that he would stop should Florida State lose to Maryland, will not quit Twitter and continue tweeting. I know everyone was very concerned about that.
7. Best interview question goes to Tom Block who asked PK Robert Aguayo what his post football plans were. It is apparently down to two choices for Robert ... criminology (his major at FSU) or the PGA. Aguayo said he believes he could have a future on the tour. So Block asked, "What's your handicap, what do you shoot?" Responded the punter, "Ninety." We're suggesting to Robert to go with criminology.
8. Apparently it is in some contract with FSU somewhere that they must score within the last minute of the half every game this season. That's the only explanation I can think of.
9. Gene Deckerhoff on Devonta Freeman's shake and bake move on a Maryland defender: "Freeman disrobed the would be tackler." We are certainly glad that was NOT a literal description of that particular play. Seriously glad. Family entertainment and all that, don't you know.
10. And speaking of family entertainment, under the category of "OH MY EYES, MY EYES!!!", the LAST thing I needed to see on a Saturday morning was about 20 Northwestern male fans at ESPN's Gameday show wearing speedos. I reiterate .... OH MY EYES, MY EYES!!!
Bonus Fittingly Random and Necessarily Meaningless Thoughts cont. —>