Most folks do not realize the high drama the Fifth-Ranked Florida State Seminoles and the Third-Ranked Clemson Tigers have had over the past 43 years. From the Deion Sanders and the Puntrooski to Bowden Bowls, this matchup has created a lot of exciting moments.
But in case you are new to this ACC and College Football rivalry here is something that will explain it a bit and then some fun details to prepare you for the big game on ABC at 8 p.m. tomorrow night.
Interesting Game Facts:
- Florida State has an 18-8 advantage in the series with Clemson that dates to 1970, a 38-13 Florida State win in Tallahassee. Clemson has won six of the last 10, including each of the last five games played at Clemson. Florida State has not won at Clemson since the 2001 season, a 41-27 Seminole victory. The home team has won 10 of the last 11 games.
- Clemson has won just once in Tallahassee since the Seminoles joined the ACC for the 1992 season. That came in 2006 when the Tigers were victorious, 27-20, on a one-yard run by James Davis with just eight seconds left.
- Each of the last four years the winner of the Clemson vs. Florida State game has gone on to win the Atlantic Division Championship. Each of the last two years the winner of this game has won the ACC Championship.
- In 2003, Clemson upset a third-ranked Florida State team by a 26-10 score in a nationally televised Saturday night game at Death Valley. Florida State was coming off a 37-0 win at Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Clemson was coming off a 45-17 loss at Wake Forest Demon Deacons. It is tied for the highest ranked team Clemson has defeated in its history.
- Clemson defeated eventual ACC Champion Florida State, 35-14, in Memorial Stadium in 2005 behind quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. The two teams were tied,14-14, at the half before Clemson dominated the second half behind Whitehurst and receiver Chansi Stuckey.
- Clemson won in 2007 on Labor Day night behind the running of James Davis. Davis had earlier scored the winning touchdown at Florida State in 2006 and the 2007 victory gave Clemson three straight wins over the Seminoles, the first ACC team to do that.
- Then, in 2009, C.J. Spiller put on a show for the ages with 312 all-purpose yards, the all-time Clemson record at the time, in a 40-24 victory. It was a big Clemson win on the way to Clemson’s Atlantic Division championship.
- In 2010, Florida State won 16-13 on a 55-yard field goal on the last play of the game by Dustin Hopkins. Clemson was 9-18 on third down and had a 25-16 advantage in first downs, but still lost the game. Jamie Harper, had 143 yards rushing and 54 yards receiving for 197 yards from scrimmage.
- Both teams are ranked in the top 25 of both polls this year, the third straight year that has been the case. In 2011 Clemson was 21st and Florida State 11th entering the game that the Tigers won 35-30. Last year, Clemson was 10th and Florida State was fourth prior to the 49-37 FSU win.
- This is just the ninth time in the history of the series that both teams have entered the game in the top 25 of the AP poll. In 2000, both teams were ranked in the top 10 as Clemson was 10th and Florida State #4 before Florida State’s 54-7 victory.
- Clemson is 2-6 when entering a game against Florida State with both teams ranked. That first win took place in Tallahassee in 1989 when Clemson was 10th and Florida State 16th. Clemson was 3-0 and Florida State was 1-1 and had just been upset the week before by Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles and quarterback Brett Favre. The other Clemson victory in a battle of top 25 teams took place in 2011 at Clemson.
- This is the 25-year anniversary of the Puntrooski game. Florida State defeated Clemson 24-21 in 1988 at Clemson. The key play was an intricate fake punt executed by Bobby Bowden’s team against the Tigers. The fake punt went for 78 yards on a run by Leroy Butler, and a first down at the Clemson two that led to the winning field goal for Florida State. Clemson’s defense stiffened and Richie Andrews kicked a 19-yard field goal with 32 seconds left to give Florida State the victory. Brent Musburger called the game for CBS and he will call the Clemson vs. Florida State game for ABC this coming Saturday night. Both teams finished the 1988 season in the top 10.
- Five of Clemson’s last six wins against Florida State the Seminoles have been ranked in the top 25.