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Top FSU single-game offensive performances (the "next 21")

When I started work on my list of Top 10 individual, single-game defensive performances in FSU history, I ended up with about 15 performances to whittle down to 10 with honorable mentions. Not too hard, huh?


When I did the same for offense, I had exactly 41 performances that were "Top 10 worthy" as I went through every FSU game in history.


I decided I would rank the top 10 and have 10 honorable mentions. I'm telling you right now, there are some SERIOUSLY good performances that don't even make the Top 20, like Cro Thorpe vs. Notre Dame or Sammie Smith going for over 200 yards in a bowl game. In fact, the "next 21" were so good, I made them their own category.

I compiled this mainly using three sources: my noggin, the excellent Web site and Bill McGrotha's incomparable book "Seminoles! The First Forty Years."

As with the defense, I did not rely solely on top statistical performances, although stats are obviously important and sometimes were the overriding factor. But other factors included: importance of game; clutch performances; gutty performances and other factors.

It's also interesting to see how certain eras were home to strong offensive play - the mid 1960s in particular stand out as a time for offensive prowess. To wit, 9 of top 10 single game reception records are from 1965-1968.

Today we will start with the "other 21." Wednesday will feature the 10 honorable mentions. And Thursday will see the unveiling of the Top 10 single game offensive performances in FSU history.






21 dadgum fine performances that didn't make the cut (chronological order)


Sept. 19, 1964. Fred Biletnikoff. FSU opens the season with a 14-0 win over rival Miami as Biletnikoff hauls in 9 Steve Tensi passes for 165 yards and both FSU touchdowns.


Nov. 11, 1967. Ron Sellers. FSU blasted rival Virginia Tech 38-15 and it was the Sellers show again as he racked up 229 receiving yards and three touchdowns in the win.


Oct. 2, 1971. Gary Huff. In the often-forgotten 1971 bowl season, Huff had one of the most efficient passing nights in FSU history, completing 21 of 25 passes for 374 yards and two touchdown in a 17-3 FSU win over Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.

Oct. 22, 1977. Larry Key. FSU beat Auburn for the first time in school history as Key ran for 170 yards and two touchdown on 25 carries. The Noles' 24-3 win was their first over an SEC team in five years.


Dec. 3, 1977. Roger Overby. Roger who? It was the only game in which he made a real mark, but what a mark it was. Overby caught three touchdown passes from Jimmy Jordan as FSU went into Gainesville and beat the Gators 37-9 - the Noles' first win over Florida under Bobby Bowden. On the day, Overby had six catches for 124 yards.


Oct. 11, 1980. Bill Capece. A kicker comes up short on the offensive list, unlike punter Rhon Stark who made my defensive list. The infectious little Capece hit a record five field goals in the Noles shocking win over Dan Marino and Pitt - FSU's second win over a No. 2-ranked team in as many weeks. Capece's FG's - in order - were from 24, 43, 50, 30 and 44 yards. FSU won by 14, 36-22.

Oct. 24, 1981. Greg Allen. The freshman from Milton became the first FSU runner to eclipse 200 yards - and what a setting in which to do it - in front of a packed house in Death Valley vs. LSU. Allen went for 202 yards and a touchdown.


Sept. 22, 1984. Jessie Hester. "Jet"  Hester took a reverse 77 yards for a score and ended up with 100 rushing and 100 receiving yards in a 38-3 rout of rival Miami.


Dec. 30, 1985. Chip Ferguson. According to McGrotha,  Ferguson broke a collarbone in the first quarter of the Gator Bowl vs. Oklahoma State, but played on. Indeed. Even without his top three receivers, Ferguson threw for 338 yards and two scores and ran for another in the 34-23 win.

Dec. 31, 1986. Sammie Smith. Another bowl game, another 200 yards rushing for an FSU back. Sammie Smith went for 205 yards on 25 carries as FSU defeated Indiana in the All-American Bowl in Birmingham.


Nov. 5, 1988. Peter Tom Willis. In one of the most efficient passing displays in FSU history, Peter Tom Willis went 17 for 20 for 271 yards and four touchdowns as FSU crushed 15-ranked South Carolina 59-0 in Columbia.


Oct. 28, 1989. Dexter Carter. He went 37 yards around left end on FSU's first play from scrimmage and Doak has never been louder. Carter finished with 142 yards on 21 carries as the Noles beat the top-ranked Hurricanes 24-10.


Oct. 17, 1992. Charlie Ward. The passing statistics not only don't look gaudy, they are rather pedestrian - 20 of 32 for 183 yards and 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. But you add in a team leading 65 rushing yards and a touchdown and then consider that 206 of those 248 yards all came in the fourth quarter and it makes more sense. Ward led FSU back from a 21-7 fourth-quarter deficit as the Noles stunned Georgia Tech 29-24 in Atlanta on the night the "fast break" offense was born.


Nov 7, 1992. Charlie Ward. With the "fast break" in full gear, Ward ran for over 100 yards and threw for 395 more as FSU amassed 858 yards of total offense in a 69-21 win over Maryland. Ward ran for one TD and threw for 4.

Sept. 9, 1995 - Warrick Dunn. No. 28 rushed for 180 yards on just 12 carries as FSU outscored Clemson 46-28.


Sept. 16, 1995. Danny Kanell.  The FSU quarterback set the FSU pass efficiency record, going 28 of 32 for 320 yards and a career-best 5 TD's as FSU obliterated N.C. State 77-17.


Nov. 1, 1997. E.G. Green. The FSU receiver hauled in 8 passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns as FSU raced to a 27-0 lead, then held on to beat N.C. State 48-35.

Oct. 10, 1998. Peter Warrick. The Noles went into the Orange Bowl and took care of the rival Miami Hurricanes, thanks to Warrick who caught 7 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown in the 26-14 win.


Nov. 28, 2000. Snoop Minnis. The wiry FSU receiver followed a 3 TD performance against Wake Forest by shredding arch-rival Florida for 187 yards receiving and two touchdowns in a 30-7 rout of the hapless Gators.


Oct. 3, 2002. Greg Jones. The brutish FSU tailback punished Clemson for 165 yards on 22 carries and three touchdowns in a 48-35 win. The last of Jones' runs was a relentlessly physical 22-yard romp in which he seemingly broke a tackle from every Clemson defender.

Nov. 1, 2003. Craphonso Thorpe. The FSU WR bailed out Chris Rix by grabbing multiple jump ball throws, finishing the game with 7 catches for 217 yards and two scores as FSU went into South Bend and hammered Notre Dame, 37-0.