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The Top 100 FSU Football plays: No. 62— Jessie Hester stuns defending champs Miami on a reverse

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Hester’s 77-yard run was the kick-start Florida State needed for a 38-3 victory in Coral Gables.

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Date: September 22, 1984

Location: Miami Orange Bowl, Coral Gables, Florida

Opponent: Miami Hurricanes

The Miami Hurricanes entered the 1984 season with huge expectations, having won the national championship the previous year. Pressure was on first year head coach Jimmie Johnson to continue the success that Miami had experienced in years past.

The beginning to the Hurricanes’ season went as well as one could hope for. The ’Canes knocked off No. 1 Auburn in the season opener, defeated No. 17 Florida down in Tampa, but fell to No. 14 Michigan in Ann Arbor. Miami would rebound against Purdue to start at 3-1.

But then Florida State came to town.

To this point, the Seminoles had not established themselves as a national power. FSU was coming off of an unspectacular 8-4 season the previous year, but was undefeated heading into Coral Gables for this game.

The game was ugly in the first half. The Seminoles drove down the field three times, but were forced to settle for a trio of Derek Schmidt field goals. Meanwhile, Miami was facing offensive problems of their own and Florida State took a 9-0 lead into halftime.

However, Florida State would blow open the game in the second half, thanks to a clutch run by Jessie Hester.

Facing a third down and long, head coach Bobby Bowden played it safe and called a reverse. Hester took the reverse from quarterback Eric Thomas, found a hole in the line, and took it 77-yards.

Touchdown, Florida State.

From there, the rout was on.

A 4-yard run from Roosevelt Snipes would make it 24-0 before Miami finally put points on the board with a 36-yard field goal. However, Florida State would score twice more in the fourth quarter to make it a final score of 38-3.

A complete beatdown of the defending champs.

Credit also lies with the defense, which sacked Miami quarterbacks Bernie Kosar and Vinnie Testaverde eight times in the matchup. Cornerback Eric Williams grabbed two interceptions as well.

Although Florida State would not finish the season on a high note (the Seminoles finished 7-3-2 in 1984), this win would eventually help spark FSU’s dynasty run in future years.

Florida State’s dominant win over Miami, on national television to boot, was the Seminoles’ first step toward announcing their presence to the country.