Yesterday, we brought you the "next 21" greatest individual offensive game performances in FSU history. Put another way, they are the 21st through 41st best in that category.
Today, it’s the 10 honorable mentions (11 through 20).
Since we are getting closer to the conclusion of this series (some of you might be saying "mercifully") I’ve added some comments with each performance.
Thursday we will unveil the Top 10 – you can probably guess some of them, but can you guess them all?
So, here are the offensive single game performances that just missed Top 10 status:
10 that are more than worth honorable mention (chronological order)
Sept. 23, 1967. Ron Sellers. FSU went into Tuscaloosa and tied Alabama 37-37, mostly thanks to Sellers who caught 13 balls for 165 yards and a touchdown. The 37 points FSU put up against the Tide equaled what Alabama had given up the ENTIRE previous season. FSUED musings: Per McGrotha, ABC Sports had gone to Tuscaloosa to film a documentary on Bear Bryant. It would end up showing Bear bellowing on the sidelines "What the hell is going on out there!" as FSU returned a punt for a score.
Nov. 29, 1968 (Jacksonville). Bill Cappleman. Sellers was awesome, but it was Cappleman’s night as FSU knocked off a strong Houston team, 40-20. Cappleman was 25-34 for 351 yards, 4 TDs and no interceptions in the Seminoles’ win. FSUED musings: Houston was a powerful Top 10 team and heavily favored in this game. Bill Peterson made it the famous "dirty jersey" game – he brought out the jerseys from the previous week’s game. "In the game before we had been behind Wake Forest 24-14 at the half," Peterson said. " Then we cut loose in that last half. Somebody said to me that we ought to hang on to those old dirty jerseys and wear ‘em against Houston.
"Well, we took those dirty jerseys – filthy, stinking, I mean – over there to Jacksonville. And I told the squad we were going to pick up right where we left off with Wake Forest – wearing those dirty jerseys. Boy, those players were mad. Literally steaming!"
Classic Bill Peterson.
Oct. 1, 1977. Larry Key. The diminutive tailback carried the ball a school record 32 times for 127 yards, caught 3 passes for another 72 yards, including a decisive fourth quarter TD, and ran a kick back 60 yards to set up a score in FSU’s 25-17 win over a very good Oklahoma State team in Stillwater. FSUED musings: One of my favorite Seminoles -- I'm not sure there has been a better all-purpose back (runner/receiver/returner).
Nov. 3, 1979. Mark Lyles. FSU escaped Cincinnati, 26-21, scoring 19 points in the fourth quarter after trailing 21-7. This was FSU’s closest call in an 11-0 regular season. If not for Mark Lyles, the Noles would not have been the first team in the state to go undefeated. The big fullback carried the ball 29 times for 142 yards and a score, and caught 7 passes for 92 yards and another TD. His 31-yard catch and run set up a game-winning score with just over a minute to play. FSUED musings: Lyles may be the best FSU player of which many current-day fans have never heard. This marked the second straight year FSU beat the Bearcats by the same 26-21 score. In 1978, FSU trailed 21-20 and faced fourth and 22 from its own 46 with 1:29 to play -- but Jimmy Jordan hit Sam Platt on a 54-yard scoring pass to win it.
Jan. 1, 1990. Peter Tom Willis. In a return to the Fiesta bowl and a rematch with Nebraska, Willis was even better than before. Willis went 25 of 40 for an astounding 422 yards and 5 TDs (0 interceptions) in FSU’s 41-17 rout over the Huskers. FSUED musings: By the end of this season, this team was one of our best ever.
Nov. 30, 1996. Warrick Dunn. The only way FSU could beat Florida in the 1996 season finale was to run the ball. FSU knew it. Florida knew it. Warrick Dunn knew it. Dunn carried FSU with 185 rushing on 24 carries and 24 yards receiving on four catches for 209 yards total offense in the No 1. vs. No. 2 matchup. FSUED musings: He simply willed this team to victory.
Nov. 4, 2000. Chris Weinke. The FSU signalcaller threw for 521 yards and two touchdown as FSU humbled Tommy Bowden’s Clemson Tigers 54-7 in Tallahassee. FSUED musings: This game featured the most famous play-action pass in FSU history – Weinke to Minnis for a school-record 98 yard TD pass.
Jan. 4, 2000. Chris Weinke. The Heisman trophy winner led FSU to its second national title by throwing three TD passes of over 40 yards in the win over Va. Tech. Weinke finished 20 of 34 for 329 yards, with 4 TDs and one INT. FSUED musings: I found this the hardest performance to rank. The stage and the stakes don’t get any bigger, yet it really seemed like Warrick’s show that night, didn’t it?
Nov. 29, 2003. Chris Rix. Those are two painful words to type, but there is no denying that Rix came up biggest in the biggest game – he threw three touchdown passes and ran for another – as FSU shocked Florida 38-34 on a last-minute 52-yard bomb from Rix to PK Sam. Rix’s final stats were 14 of 19 for 256 yards. FSUED Musings: Statistically, it doesn’t stack up, but the fourth-down conversion to Dominic Robinson was one of the great clutch throws in FSU history and Rix to Sam is on the very short list of top plays.
Oct. 22. 2009. Christian Ponder and Rod Owens. The FSU QB and WR had their finest days as Seminoles, leading the Noles back from a 24-6 deficit to a 30-27 win over North Carolina. Ponder was 33 of 40 for 395 yards and three touchdowns. If not for drops, Ponder would have been close to perfect. He added 14 yards rushing, including a key run for a first-down late in the game kept an FSU drive alive and left just a few seconds left for the Tar Heels to try and score. The most famous play of the game and season was when Owens hauled in a bomb from Ponder and went the distance for a key 98-yard score. But even if that catch is factored out, Owens STILL had a 100-yard game. In total he amassed 199 yards on 9 catches. FSUED musings: FSU needs about three of these type performances next year against, say, UF, OU and UM.