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Hidden History: FSU vs Clemson

The original football schools in the basketball conference.

Clemson v Florida State University

Basic Facts

All-time series record: Florida State leads 20-11

First meeting: 1970; Doak Campbell Stadium; FSU won 38-13

Most recent meeting: 2017; Clemson Memorial Stadium, aka Death Valley; Clemson won 31-14

Largest margin of victory: 1993; Doak Campbell Stadium; FSU won 57-0

Conquering the Atlantic

Despite neither program being within 175 miles of the Atlantic Ocean, Florida State and Clemson have collectively shared the ownership of the fancy house at the end of the ACC Atlantic Ocean beach. Since the conference split into divisions in 2005, the two programs have won 10 of the 13 division crowns. And those 10 have been split evenly 5-5 by the Seminoles and Tigers. After alternating Atlantic Championships from 2009-2011, FSU took a three-peat from 2012-2014. Starting in 2015, the Tigers have clawed their way to a three-peat of their own.

Can FSU pull the upset and prevent Clemson from becoming the first program in either ACC division to win four consecutive titles?

We do it Big Then!

While the Tigers have drawn their share of blood against ‘Noles, when it comes to the margin of victories for the two programs there isn’t much in common. Of the 11 Clemson victories, five were decided by nine points or less and another two were by 10 and 11 points, respectively. Basically, when Clemson beats FSU they typically do it in a fairly close game.

That is not the case when Florida State beats the Tigers. Beginning with the very first matchup between these two schools in 1970, Florida State has produced dominating wins. Eleven of the 20 FSU wins have come by at least 17 points, with many of those being 30+ point blowouts. In fact, the seven largest margins of victory in the series all belong to FSU, with the 51-14 obliteration in 2013 serving as the most recent Seminole destruction.

Clemson’s biggest victory over the ‘Noles? 35-14 in 2005 (ironically, a year that FSU went on to win the ACC). Will the Tigers eclipse that this season?

Did You Know?

Three different Seminole QBs had the second-most prolific games of their career against Clemson:

A. Chris Weinke threw for 521 yards in 2000

2. E.J. Manuel went for 380 in 2012

D. Chris Rix put up 369 in 2001

Of course, one QB set his single-game career high against the Tigers. Jameis Winston torched Clemson for 444 yards in his Heisman Trophy winning campaign of 2013.

“The Greatest Play Since My Fair Lady”

The Puntrooskie is not exactly hidden when it comes to FSU/Clemson history. It’s not only one of the most memorable plays in the history of this series, it’s one of the best in the history of all of college football—inspiring one of the best one liners in the sport’s history from the late Beano Cook. Earlier this year, the Puntrooskie came in at number 3 in our countdown of the top 100 FSU football plays ever.

But, come on. It’s FSU/Clemson week. How can we not talk about this play? Some of you have probably seen this video, but if you haven’t it’s worth a watch. Hell, it’s worth another watch even if you have:

Blowing Off the Dust

The Seminoles and Tigers had a tremendous pair of battles in the late 80s, with each team winning on the other’s home field. The two-game series left many dreaming of the schools facing off more often.

A few years later, FSU joined the ACC and fans got their wish. Despite Clemson finishing just 5-6 in the Seminoles’ inaugural year in the league, the 1992 game proved to be one of the best in the entire series.

Before the game, Clemson fans had a nice welcome for their new conference foes:

FSU, playing in their first ever ACC road game, took a 10-3 halftime lead thanks to a William Floyd one-yard plunge. But 1992 Charlie Ward was nothing like 1993 Charlie Ward (especially early in the season) and a third-quarter pick-6 put the Tigers up 13-10:

But even in 1992, Charlie Ward was still a baller. Down 20-17 with a little more than 5 minutes to play, Ward led FSU on a 77-yard drive that culminated in a TD strike to Kevin Knox. FSU escaped 24-20.

Can you imagine that? Charlie Ward making clutch throws with the game on the line? No seriously, you need to imagine it. The full game was up on youtube a few weeks ago, but now seems to be lost to time. It truly is hidden history. If anyone can find a copy of this play online, please post.