Significant Moments in History Between FSU and Virginia

by Mike Ferguson
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FSU athletics

Saturday’s contest in Charlottesville will afford Florida State an opportunity to put a couple of dismal weeks behind it. In front of the Seminoles on Saturday evening will be No. 25 Virginia, who is 2-0 with wins over Pittsburgh and William & Mary.

The meeting will be the first between the schools since FSU won 34-20 in Tallahassee in 2014. It is the first meeting in Charlottesville since 2010.

Although the Seminoles and Cavaliers never met before Florida State joined the ACC, the previous 18 meetings have some pretty significant moments. Here’s a look back on them:

FSU clinches first ACC title
(6) Florida State 13, (23) Virginia 3
Oct. 31, 1992

Florida State won the ACC in each of its first nine seasons as a member, but the first outright title for the Seminoles was clinched on Halloween in 1992. Charlie Ward passed for a touchdown and rushed for another to account for all the FSU scoring. Tiger McMillon rushed for 138 yards in the victory. The FSU defense, led by linebacker Derrick Brooks’ nine tackles and 2.5 stops for loss, held Virginia to 195 yards and forced three turnovers.

Virginia hands FSU first ACC loss
(2) Florida State 28, (24) Virginia 33
Nov. 2, 1995

Florida State had won its first 29 conference games as a member of the ACC when it traveled to Charlottesville to open November 1995. FSU quarterback Danny Kanell passed for 454 yards and three touchdowns, but was intercepted three times that night. After trailing 14-7 after a quarter, Virginia outscored FSU 26-7 before Warrick Dunn’s 7-yard touchdown pulled FSU to within five. The Seminoles mounted a drive as time was ticking away when Dunn reached for the end zone and appeared to score, but he was ruled short of the goal line and Virginia prevailed. It would be almost three years later before FSU lost another ACC game.

Weinke suffers season-ending injury
(12) Virginia 14, (6) Florida State 45
Nov. 7, 1998

In what would be FSU’s final ACC home game of 1998, 12th-ranked Virginia proved to be no match for the Seminoles, but did alter the course of their season. Quarterback Chris Weinke passed for 143 yards and accounted for two touchdowns before leaving the game in the second quarter with a neck injury that would ultimately end his 1998 campaign. Marcus Outzen played well in relief as FSU scored the game’s final 24 points, but the injury to Weinke did hamper the FSU offense the rest of the way. With Outzen at the helm, FSU defeated Wake Forest and Florida to close the regular season, but the “Rooster” struggled in the Fiesta Bowl loss to Tennessee for the national championship to conclude the year. Many believe that with a healthy Weinke, the Seminoles would have claimed college football’s ultimate prize.

Bowden ties Pop Warner
(21) Florida State 43, Virginia 7
Oct. 20, 2001

The 2001 contest saw Florida State break a 7-7 tie with the game’s final 36 points as legendary head coach Bobby Bowden tied Pop Warner for the third-most wins all-time with 319. Quarterbacks Chris Rix and Adrian McPherson combined for three touchdown passes in the win. FSU cornerback Abdul Howard returned a Matt Schaub interception 80 yards for a score. The FSU defense forced five turnovers.

FSU slaughters Virginia in top-10 showdown
(6) Virginia 3, (7) Florida State 36
Oct. 16, 2004

The only match-up of top-10 teams in the series saw FSU throttle No. 6 Virginia at Doak Campbell Stadium midway through the 2004 season. FSU broke a scoreless tie with a safety before the offense got heated up. In just his second home start, quarterback Wyatt Sexton went 20-for-26 passing for 275 yards and a touchdown. Lorenzo Booker also rushed for 123 yards and two scores. The FSU defense held Virginia to less than one yard per carry. Safety Jerome Carter and linebacker Ernie Sims combined for 19 total tackles, five for loss, three sacks, an interception and a blocked punt.

Virginia pulls another upset of a top-5 FSU team
(4) Florida State 21, Virginia 26
Oct. 15, 2005

10 years after upsetting a top-5 Florida State team in Charlottesville to hand the Seminoles their first ACC loss, Virginia did it again. Behind a stellar effort by Virginia quarterback Marques Hagans, the Cavaliers raced to a 26-10 lead. FSU would climb to within five on Drew Weatherford’s touchdown pass to Chris Davis and a Gary Cismesia field goal, but Tony Franklin’s interception of Weatherford in the final minute sealed the upset. Weatherford passed for 377 yards in the loss, but was picked off three times. Hagans went 27-for-36 passing with 306 yards and two touchdowns.

Bowden, Andrews get last ACC shutout
Virginia 0, Florida State 33
Nov. 4, 2006

The 2006 season wasn’t one to be remembered with fondness for Florida State fans, but it did feature the final shutout of an ACC team in the legendary careers of head coach Bobby Bowden and defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews. Cornerback Tony Carter set the tone with a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown on Virginia’s opening drive and the Seminoles never looked back. FSU defensive end Kevin McNeil had two sacks for a defense that allowed just 183 yards of offense. Offensively, FSU’s Xavier Lee passed for 185 yards and a touchdown and led the Seminoles with 49 yards rushing. FSU would shut out Western Carolina 69-0 to open the 2008 season, but the 33-0 win over Virginia would be the last ACC and FBS shutout during the tenures of the two FSU legends.

Fisher gets first ACC road win
Florida State 34, Virginia 14
Oct. 2, 2010

After shutting out Wake Forest in his first ACC game the week earlier, first-year head coach Jimbo Fisher got his first ACC road win in Charlottesville. Jermaine Thomas finished with 122 yards rushing and two touchdowns in the victory. Cornerback Greg Reid finished with two interceptions for the FSU defense.

Mike Ferguson is a contributor for Fifth Quarter FSU and the editor of The Daily Nole. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. Follow all of Mike’s work by liking his Facebook page.

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