Date: September 20, 2014
Location: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Florida
Opponent: No. 22 Clemson
Earlier in this countdown, a certain play highlighted how the game against Clemson would set the tone for a frustrating 2014 season. This play, on the other hand, is arguably the most significant play of the season and the most crucial play of the game against Clemson.
With 2:14 left to play in the fourth quarter and the game tied up 17-17, the ’Noles faced a 3rd and 10 at their own 25-yard line. As the Seminoles appeared to put the game away, Maguire’s pass was picked off by Clemson’s Jadar Johnson. Johnson returned the ball for 24 yards, allowing the Tigers to take over at the FSU 26-yard line. In a game that appeared to be over, Clemson faced 2nd and two at the FSU 18-yard line and only needed a short field goal to win the game.
Hoping to run down the clock and pick up a new set of downs, the Tigers assumed it would be safe to run the ball. Florida State defensive tackle Eddie Goldman would soon make Clemson regret that decision. As the Tigers’ C.J. Anderson crossed the line of scrimmage, Goldman was there waiting and stripped the ball right out of the hands of the Clemson running back. FSU safety Nate Andrews recovered, leading Sean Maguire to embody how the whole Florida State fan base was feeling.
The fumble recovery by Andrews would allow Maguire to kneel regulation away.
Goldman’s second-half dominance didn’t stop just there. In overtime, Goldman sacked Deshaun Watson for a loss of 4 yards, setting up a very important 3rd and 14 for Clemson. The Seminoles held the Tigers for no gain on 4th and 1, largely due to Goldman blowing up the line of scrimmage. In the second play of FSU’s overtime drive, running back Karlos Williams went 12 yards to score the game-winning touchdown, keeping the Seminoles’ win streak, which would reach a school-best 29-straight Ws, alive.
Eddie Goldman stepped up and made big plays when it mattered most. Without Goldman’s strip and his heroics in overtime, the victory never would have happened.
Editor’s Note from David Visser:
Someone in the press box, presumably from the Clemson beat, wasn’t too pleased with this result. I recall using the men’s room right after the FSU win; the paper-towel dispenser was ripped off the wall and lying on the floor.