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FSU Seminoles vs UM Canes-College Football's Greatest Rivalry-The Year was 1984

Twelve days and counting before the University of Miami Cane Thugs arrive in Tallahassee.  Everyone should hide your belongings, lock all of your doors, hide your keys, and lock up your daughters. 

Our series continues today with the game played on September 22, 1984. 

 Small_f1984_mediumFSU RB GREG ALLEN


However, before we get into that game, I thought I would bring you up to date on what has transpired in this rivalry since the last game we talked about, the game from September 22, 1979 (FSU 40 UM 23)

In 1980, FSU had the opportunity to win the game despite fumbling the ball 5 times against the Jim Kelly led Canes in the Orange Bowl.  The Miami defense, ranked No. 1 in the country against the run, withstood a last-minute Florida State comeback when NG Jim Burt deflected a Rick Stockstill pass, as the Seminoles tried for a game-winning 2-point conversion following this last minute touchdown.  Remember that back then there was no overtime, and Bowden made the gutsy call to go for 2 for the win, however our Noles fell short by a final score of 10-9.

In the 1981 game, which was  played just a few days after the NCAA placed UM on 2 year probation for their dirty recruiting practices, the Canes snapped  FSU's 19 game home winning streak at Doak by a final score of 27-19.  With the score tied 13-13 in the 4th quarter, Jim Kelly engineered two fourth-quarter scoring drives to lead the 13th-ranked Hurricanes over No. 14 Florida State in Tallahassee. Miami blocked two Florida State field goal attempts and an extra point and held the Seminoles to one touchdown in the second half. However FSU was looking to tie it up with a TD and 2 pt conversion from where they were positioned at the UM 29 yard line, but time ran out.

After those two previous heart stopping losses, FSU would finally win again in 1982 when the No.14 Seminoles would defeat No. 16 Miami 24-7 in the Orange Bowl.  With what was billed as having more significant national implications than usual, this game meant more than just the mythical State Championship that was on the line.  Sophomore Greg Allen ran for two touchdowns, including his 2nd with :41 seconds left, to rub some salt in the wound, and quarterback Kelly Lowrey passed for another as we ruined and destroyed Miami's homecoming. Allen scored on runs of three and two yards, and Lowrey threw a 24-yard pass to reserve tight end Orson Mobley on the first play of the fourth quarter, on a 4th down and 4 to go, at which time Big Orson shook off 3 would be tacklers and rumbled in for the score.  The loss was only the second at home in 19 games for UM under Howard Schnellenberger. The Miami quarterback on this day was a player who would later become familiar to all FSU fans.  His name was Mark Richt.  He threw four interceptions in the game, but still managed to get 273 yards.

Then in 1983, in a series that is defined by missed field goals, Miami (10-1) won this contest with a 19-yard kick on the final play of the game to defeat FSU (6-4) by a score of 17-16.  FSU led by 9 points late in the 3rd quarter, until the Canes scored the final 10 points of the game.   Bernie Kosar drove the Hurricanes down the field in the final two minutes to set up the winning FG, by a kicker who had missed 2 other attempts earlier in the game. The 4 losses suffered by FSU that season were by a total of 11 points.  This win sent Miami to the Orange Bowl, where the Hurricanes defeated top-ranked Nebraska and won the national championship in Schnellenberger's final season.

OK now we are up to date.

Please continue reading. 

In the preseason of 1984, UM was the new media darling since winning the MNC against Nebraska.  Most everyone expected them to steamroll through the season, and their QB Kosar was the preseason poster boy in the Sports Illustrated football preview (along with my all time favorite player).


Aside from Kosar, the 84 Canes returned some very goods players such as Alonzo Highsmith, Willie Smith, Jerome Brown, Kevin Fagan, George Mira Jr, Julio Cortes, and Kenny Fagan.

The expectations for the Seminoles were not quite as high coming off a 8-4 year.  In the season preview edition dated September 5, 1984, Bobby Bowden was quoted in Sports Illustrated as saying;

We're an unsound team trying to get sound," says Florida State coach Bobby Bowden. He was on the right track at the end of last season, when he scrapped his razzle-dazzle, pass-happy attack and installed a land-based one. The 6-5 Seminoles then whipped North Carolina 28-3 in the Peach Bowl. Now Bowden has imported a new defensive coordinator, Mickey Andrews, who had been an assistant with the USFL's Arizona Wranglers, to do something about a unit that last year yielded 81 points and 880 yards in the Seminoles' first two victories. On the bright side, Bowden has a pair of aces at tailback—All-America Greg Allen and Roosevelt Snipes. Allen ran for 1,134 yards a year ago, while Snipes averaged 6.6 yards a carry on his way to 629.

**SI was incorrect in saying the Noles had gone 6-5 the previous year, they actually went 8-4.

Miami came into the game at 3-1 having beaten Auburn, Florida, a not too bad Purdue team, but also losing to a very good Michigan team with an excellent defense in a game at Ann Arbor.  Miami came in ranked 4th in the nation.

Our Noles came in at 2-0, ranked #15, and had only played a couple of tune up games against East Carolina and Kansas.  No one was sure what to really expect from FSU.

Our QB that year was an efficient Eric Thomas, and his primary job was to hand off the ball to our trio of backs starting with All American Greg Allen, then Roosevelt Snipes and Cletis Jones.  If he did not hand it off, he was looking to throw it to All American Jessie Hester, Hassan Jones, TE Pat Carter, or Herb Gainer.  The O-Line was anchored by All American and future All Pro Jaime Dukes, Jason Kuipers, Mark Salva, John and Joey Ionata, Pablo Lopez, and Parrish Barwick.

Our defense was led by All American Henry Taylor, Fred Jones, Isaac Williams, Brian McCrary, Gerald Nicholas, Lenny Chavers, Martin Mayhew, Eric Williams, and Jesse Solomon. Both of our specialist, punter Louis Berry and kicker Derek Schmidt, received All American recognition.  Some other names off this roster that you may recognize include Todd Stroud, Cedric Jones, Billy Allen, Garth Jax, Steve Nicklaus, Joe Wessel, and some talented freshmen including Victor Floyd, Felton Hayes, Paul McGowan, Danny McManus, Stan Shiver, and  David Palmer.

Again, the date is September 22, 1984, and on this day a group of South Florida Noles started a long standing tradition of renting a Winnebago, adorning it fully in FSU memorabilia and garnet and gold streamers, and parking it the Orange Dump as soon as the gates opened at 6 AM. We had all met at one of our friends house the night before, and partied all night so that we could be one of the first to roll into the dump grounds, where we would BarBQue all day and continue our non stop partying until the lot closed the next morning after the game.  (Remember this is the 80's we are talking about here, and times were very different back then). 

UM was coming off a National Championship season and the Florida State players, as well as most of us fans were really angry and pissed. 


Let me tell you why. 



The scUM's were fast on their way to becoming the trash talking THUGS that they still are today with their new arrogant and narcissistic Coach Jimmy Johnson.  They were the defending champions and were acting the scUM part as well as anyone ever has.  The week of the game their players were totally dissing the Noles, saying that we could not beat them in their house, that we would be lucky if we scored any TD's against their defense, and that the game was going to be a complete rout and possibly a shut out for them. I would have loved to have seen the Noles bulletin boards, because the THUGS were talking trash at a record pace.




Despite dominating the first half of the game, FSU was only able to muster up 3 FG's by Derek Schmidt, including a 54 yarder, for a very uncomfortable 9-0 halftime lead.

However, things were about to go south in a hurry for the Canes, and they were about to witness first hand the Jessie Hester show.

On the 3rd play of the 3rd quarter, WR Jessie "The Jet" Hester ran the old reverse 77 yards for a TD to finally break the game wide open, and the floodgates opened.  A two-point conversion made it 17-0 FSU and the Seminoles never looked back.  Hester finished with 2 rushes for 101 yds and 5 rec for 116 yds.

The defense then pinned back their ears and went to work on the UM passing game.  In his final game against FSU, Bernie Kosar was sacked six times for 75 yards in losses.  So harassed was Kosar, that the scUM coach Johnson finally pulled him while fearing for his safety, and replaced him with future Heisman winner Vinny Testaverde.   When Vinny Testaverde was called on late in the third quarter, he was sacked twice as well for 25 yards in losses.  The Nole defense stayed relentless, they continued putting heat on the new QB, and finished the day with 8 sacks while picking off 2 UM interceptions.


My favorite memory of this game, and one of my all time favorite memories to this day, is what happened during the intermission between the 3rd and 4th quarter.  Our Noles had totally dominated this game and were leading 24-0, when I swear it was almost like a sign from God that fell upon the Orange Dump. 

All of the sudden, it seemed like 30,000 obnoxious fickle Cane Thugs, all of sudden got up and started heading for the exits right then and there. You can imagine the taunts and cat calls we were laying on them.  During most of these FSU/UM games in the Orange Bowl, and including the last game at Joe Robbie (Dolphin) Stadium, we would always, and still do, rag on our Cane friends, and even those we don't know during the typical and ritual pregame trash talking, that whenever FSU plays in Miami, it is a home game for FSU, because usually there were just as many Noles as Canes at these games.  Let me tell you what, when the Miami faithfull started heading for the gates, all of  the Nole fans went nuts, we really let them have it.  

At the time the Nole players were holding their helmets up in the air and the UM player were holding up 4 fingers, as so many teams do to start the 4th quarter, and as if to imply they were going to make a comeback.  When the Nole fans started all the commotion and heckling,  the UM players started turning around to see what was going on, they were in disbelief at what they were seeing, their own fickle fans walking out on them, and they deflated faster than a breast implant getting stuck by a porcupine.  Needless to say we stayed until the final gun while loving every minute of it, and in retrospect, we became pretty obnoxious ourselves, while shouting at the pathetic UM players.  We were now in complete control of their stadium, and we were letting them know it.

We now owned their house, the Orange Dump, at least until the next game there in 2 years.

1st   3- 0  Derek Schmidt, 54, field goal, 10:16
      6- 0  Derek Schmidt, 40, field goal, 3:47 
2nd   9- 0  Derek Schmidt, 38, field goal, 4:10 
3rd  17- 0  Jessie Hester, 77, run (Hassan Jones, pass from Eric Thomas), 13:21
     24- 0  Roosevelt Snipes, 4, run (Derek Schmidt, kick), 9:08 
4th  24- 3  Opp, 36, field goal, 14:05
     31- 3  Hassan Jones, 25, pass from Eric Thomas (Derek Schmidt, kick), 7:39 
     38- 3  Roosevelt Snipes, 3, run (Derek Schmidt, kick), 6:24 

FSU OPP First downs 15 17 Rushes-yards 43-284 32- 10 Passing 194 237 Att-Comp-Int 16-10-0 34-18-2 Total Yards 59-478 66-247 Punt Returns 2--8 2-10 Kickoff Returns 1-20 7-124 Interception Ret. 2-6 0-0 Fumble Returns 2-0 0-0 Punts 4-40.8 7-37.9 Sacks By-Yds 8- 4- Fumbles-Lost 2-0 3-2 Penalties-Yds 10-71 8-79 Time of Posession 26:31 33:29 Attendance 60,210 INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS Rushing Jessie Hester 2- 102 Greg Allen 10- 65 Cletis Jones 10- 47 Roosevelt Snipes 6- 43 Eric Thomas 12- 15 Dwayne Denson 2- 10 Prince Matt 1- 2 Receiving Jessie Hester 5- 116 Hassan Jones 1- 25 Pete Panton 1- 22 Herb Gainer 2- 19 Roosevelt Snipes 1- 12 Passing Eric Thomas 15- 9-0-151 Hassan Jones 1- 1-0- 43 Punt Return Darrin Holloman 2- -8 Kickoff Return Roosevelt Snipes 1- 20 Punting Louis Berry 4- 163 |---------Tackles---------| |---Sacks---| |---Pass Def---| |-Fumbles-| Blkd DEFENSIVE STATISTICS UT AT Total ForLoss No - Yards Int-Yds BrUp QBH Rcv-Yds FF Kick Saf ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jerome McCoy 5 2 7 . . . . . . . . . Brian McCrary 4 2 6 . . . . . . . . . Eric Williams 4 1 5 . . 2- 6 . . 1- 0 . . . Isaac Williams 4 1 5 2.0- 2.0- . . . . . . . Paul McGowan 3 2 5 . . . . . . . . . Eric Riley 5 . 5 . . . . . . . . . Billy Allen 5 . 5 1.0- 1.0- . 1 . . . . . Stanley Scott 4 . 4 2.0- 2.0- . . . . . . . Lenny Chavers 3 . 3 . . . . . . . . . Gerald Nichols 3 . 3 1.0- 1.0- . . . . . . . Henry Taylor 1 2 3 . . . 1 . 1- 0 . . . Jesse Solomon 3 . 3 . . . . . 1- 0 . . . Terry Griggley 2 1 3 . . . . . . . . . John Eaford 1 2 3 . . . . . . . . . Brian Williams 1 1 2 . . . . . . . . . Darryl Gray 2 . 2 . . . . . . . . . Fred Jones 2 . 2 2.0- 2.0- . 1 . . . . . Eric Stiehl 2 . 2 . . . . . . . . . Garth Jax 1 . 1 . . . . . . . . . Todd Stroud 1 . 1 . . . . . . . . .