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The top 100 FSU football plays—No. 42: Mack Knight keeps Nebraska out of the end zone

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The tackle allowed FSU to make a goal-line stand.

Mack Knight keeps Tommie Frazier out of the end-zone
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Date: January 1st, 1994

Location: Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida

Opponent: 2nd-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers

Bobby Bowden, wondering if FSU will finally cement itself atop college football
Getty-Al Tielemans

1993 was a year of conquering demons for Florida State football. Conquering the Miami demon and the first national title demon. After a controversial decision to decide whom should play for the National Title, FSU was pitted against undefeated Nebraska for all the marbles.

Early on in the contest Florida State’s offense just couldn’t punch it in the end-zone, settling for two first half field goals. Nebraska would lead at the half 7-6 due to an intercepted pass by Devin Bush, I mean a 34 yard touchdown reception by Reggie Baul from Tommie Frazier.

The second half would find FSU finally breaking into the end-zone on Williams Floyd’s touchdown run. Another Scott Bentley field goal later and it’s 15 to 7 FSU and all seems well with Bobby Bowden’s first national title no longer a dream but imminently within his grasp.

But you had to know; nothing worth having would ever come easy for the Seminoles.

The Cornhuskers wouldn’t go down without a fight and Florida State’s vaunted defense starting faltering vs. Tom Osborne’s i-formation, triple option offense.

A 73 yard drive & failed two-point conversation later would make it 15-13 FSU with nearly the entire fourth quarter to go. The Seminoles found themselves reeling when Richard Coes intercepted a Tommie Frazier pass on FSU’s own nine yard line. Charlie Ward and the offense would go three and out again giving Nebraska the ball back with 4:39 left in the game.

A gassed Florida State defense seemingly had no answers to stop the triple option when Tommie Frazier broke free and this happened:

The tackle rejuvenated FSU’s defense and ultimately lead to a goal-line stand, keeping Nebraska within striking range of what would become the most famous made kick in Florida State history.

In every national title run there are many unsung plays that get overlooked; plays that will never appear in the box score or the scoring recap but they are no less important. Mack Knight’s touchdown saving tackle of Tommie Frazier saved Seminole Nation from having to play another painful game of ‘What If’.