Florida State is 12-0 in 2014, and has not lost a game in more than two calendar years. But that doesn't mean that FSU fans have had a carefree season. It seems that this edition of the Seminoles invents ways to scare its fans, only to come back in miraculous fashion. These are the moments at which FSU fans were likely the most nervous this season. Brought you by Coumadin (not really, but I definitely missed a good opportunity to sell this piece as branded content).
With 02:01 left in the first quarter at N.C. State, where FSU had lost its last two games. FSU is down 24-7 and has just had a poor kick return to its own 18, and the Wolfpack was averaging six points per drive.
With 1:40 remaining against Florida, FSU trailed 9-0, and Jameis Winston had been intercepted twice in his first seven passes, though via some great efforts by Florida players. The third interception came on his eight throw and was simply a horrible read, shocking since Winston played nearly a flawless game against Boston College just the week before. Florida had the ball on the Seminoles' nine, with a chance to go up 16-0 with a TD. FSU had come back from bigger margins, and against better defenses, like Louisville on the road, but immediately fans felt trepidation because a margin that big against a very good defense with Winston having the worst day of his career sounded insurmountable.
With 01:19, down 13-0 to Miami, BoBo Wilson fumbled a kickoff. Miami ball at the Florida State 27, a TD would mean be a three touchdown lead.
11:40 v. Miami. Clive Walford is sprinting to the end zone for the 61-yard touchdown to put Miami up 23-7.
05:00 v. Louisville. Down 14-0, Jameis Winston is picked off at the Florida State 43. It looks like this could be the night that FSU's freshmen skill players finally make the damning freshmen mistakes.
02:09 v. Louisville. Louisville goes up 21-0. Florida State is down to just two healthy scholarship linebackers, and has to give a safety a different jersey number so that he can be on the field and avoid a penalty for having two men with the same number on the field. Louisville is on pace for about 600 yards.
Halftime against Clemson, down 10-3: Clemson has arguably the best defense in the country, FSU doesn't have Jameis Winston, and has only 69 yards on 29 plays. The Tigers have freshman phenom Deshaun Watson, who has already led drives of 36, 47, 53, and 75 yards, though Clemson has squandered some of the early drives.
13:28 v. Louisville. Karlos Williams is stopped on fourth and 1 at the Florida State 49. Going for it is undoubtedly the right call, as punting and freely giving up the possession of the ball would be too risky. But now Louisville, which Florida State hasn't really stopped all day, has a 21-7 lead and the ball inside FSU's territory.
03:36 v. Boston College. Roberto Aguayo misses a 40-yarder to keep the score 17-17. Uh oh, the stuff FSU always counts on isn't working.
02:50 v. Florida. Winston had calmed down and made some nice throws after his ridiculous start, and then he throws a pick that very well could have gone back for a touchdown, but is instead stopped at the Florida State 33.
12:25 v. Florida. FSU should probably run the football on third and two from the Florida 30. But the call is a pass, as FSU anticipates blitz, gets it, the hot read is open, Winston has time to read and hit it for a first down and potentially a big, big play. Instead, he misses the read, is sacked, and FSU is out of field goal range, which means FSU cannot extend its lead from 21-19 to 24-19. After a failed fake punt, it's Florida ball from the Gators' 34.
11:59 v. Boston College. Facing third and 13, Boston College runs a give up run play to get off its own five for some punting room. Instead, the back hides behind a mass of humanity, both blockers and potential tacklers, and squirts out the short side for a first down.
11:48 v. Florida. Down 21-19, Demarcus Robinson is behind FSU's defense. But a bad throw turns a potential 66-yard touchdown into a 41-yard completion.
11:44 v. Clemson. Sean Maguire had just thrown a back interception and the Tigers knifed through the Florida State defense for a touchdown and a 17-10 lead.
07:12 v. Miami. Having failed to convert third down and five from the Miami 36, trailing 26-20, Jimbo Fisher didn't take the safe play of going for it, and instead gambled that kicker Roberto Aguayo could make a 53-yard field goal. A miss here would have given Miami the ball at midfield, with the chance for a field goal to ice the game. Even with the best kicker in the country, FSU fans couldn't have been too calm as Aguayo lined up, especially knowing the history of unsound decisions like these in the series.
4.37 v. Boston College. Almost nine minutes later, the Eagles still have the ball, using a great variety of run plays to slowly move down the field. 67 yards in an incredibly inefficient, but effective nonetheless 17 plays.
2:16 v. Florida. Up 24-19, FSU needs to prevent a Florida touchdown, and it's fourth and eight from the Florida 35. QB Treon Harris throws a deep ball, off target, but Florida is bailed out by a phantom pass interference call, giving the Gators new life at the 50.
02:14 v. Clemson. Sean Maguire threw another interception, which was returned to the Florida State 26. With the game tied at 17, and Clemson looked like it could easily pick up a few yards, kick the field goal, and steal the win.
01:18 v. Notre Dame. Everett Golson breaks contain and finds Corey Robinson on fourth and 18 on a crossing route for 20 yards to the Florida State 37, keeping the drive alive.
00:59 v. Notre Dame. Golson hits Corey Fuller on a sideline route to bring Notre Dame to the 20. Now a strike that isn't a bomb can turn this game from a 31-27 Florida State lead into a 34-31 loss.
00:45 v. Notre Dame. Golson scrambles for 12 yards to the Florida State 8. And now a shorter pass or a scramble can win it for Notre Dame.
00:13 v. Notre Dame. Corey Robinson is wide open for a touchdown after receivers Fuller and Prossise threw textbook blocks to spring him. Touchdown. One problem: It's not a screen pass, and receivers must at least pretend to run routes.