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The top 100 FSU football plays: No. 75— Derrick Brooks leads epic goal-line stand to start title season

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You’re not in Kansas, or the end zone, anymore.

Clemson Tigers v Florida State Seminoles

Date: August 28, 1993

Location: The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, New Jersey

Opponent: Kansas Jayhawks

Earlier in this countdown, we featured a pick-six from legendary Seminole linebacker Derrick Brooks during the 1993 season. In the first five games to commence that title campaign for the ’Noles, Brooks outscored Florida State’s opponents— a record that seems hard to fathom ever being broken. So it’s far from surprising that Brooks is back again, and rather appropriately, it’s for an incredible finish to an 11-play goal-line stand that set the tone for FSU’s defensive dominance in ’93.

Florida State’s season began that year against the Kansas Jayhawks at The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey. KU was eager to prove itself against the No. 1 team in the country, and early on, it kept things quite respectable. The Jayhawks were trailing just 14-0 in the second quarter when they matriculated the ball to within the shadow of the Seminoles’ goalpost. What then transpired demonstrates how games, seasons, and even programs can be transformed in a mere series.

KU ran 11 plays inside FSU’s 10, most of them occurring at or inside the ’Nole 1. The drive was kept alive via myriad penalties, including three offside whistles and a pass-interference call on the Seminoles. The fourth-and-goal play that capped the stand saw Kansas running back Charles Henley rush right with a full head of steam. It looked for the world like he had more than enough momentum to carry him into the end zone.

But Chris Cowart sheds his block. Brooks reads the play perfectly, and Corey Sawyer comes downhill with reckless abandon, all three overcoming the fatigue they were fighting to absolutely stonewall Henley at the goal line. Brooks and Sawyer remained down on the field, having spent every last ounce of effort they had. But they’d recover from their exhaustion. Kansas: not so much.

As if the Jayhawks weren’t deflated enough from the Florida State stand, the Seminoles then simply demoralized KU and went 99 yards for a TD in just over two and a half minutes before the half. The blowout ensued. The game ended in a 42-0 FSU shutout, thanks in large part to what was described by The LA Times’ Bill Dwyre as “perhaps the greatest goal-line stand in the history of college football . . . had it not happened against Kansas.”

The Jayhawks left the eastern seaboard pointless, winless, and, worst of all, headed back to Kansas.