Date: November 7th, 1958
Location: Miami Orange Bowl, Miami, FL
Opponent: Miami Hurricanes
1958 was a year of important firsts for Florida State football. The Seminoles earned their first ever victory over an SEC team, shutting out Tennessee 10-0. FSU’s Bluegrass Bowl appearance was the program’s first national-television appearance. And following five straight losses after first fielding a football tam in 1947, the ’Noles finally got over the hump and beat the University of Miami— on the road, no less.
Points were at a premium on that November day in south Florida, and two-way player Joe Majors got Florida State on the board, but not from his quarterback position. Instead, Majors, who had just thrown an interception, atoned by picking off a Hurricane pass from his safety spot and returning it 42 yards for a score. That touchdown and the succeeding extra point proved to be enough, as FSU triumphed over the ’Canes, 17-6.
Unfortunately, we were unable to find footage of this play, but that doesn’t diminish its importance to the program. Miami had a 21-year head start on the Seminoles, having established its football team in 1926, and Majors’ play was FSU’s first step in clawing back to level with its original rival. After three more Miami wins after this initial Florida State success, the ’Noles registered seven straight Ws, tying the series at 8-8. But the Seminoles have never had the series lead. Miami currently holds a 32-30 edge overall— but FSU has a 20-17 advantage in Miami, the first win of which was courtesy of Majors.