Top 5 Revenge Games

by | Aug 2, 2018 | ACC, Football, FSU, Sports

There have been many heart breaking losses in Florida State history, that can leave fans puzzled for the longest. The great news is that FSU always answers that heart breaking loss with revenge in the near future. Today you will feel a little nostalgia seeing a list of the best revenge games in FSU history. Nothing felt better than finally seeing your Noles answer a heartbreaking loss with revenge. Let’s get started!

#5 1999 Florida State vs. NCSU

The year is 1998 and The Florida State Seminoles were entering a season with six straight Atlantic Coast Conference Championships. In the six previous seasons Florida State was expected to absolutely positively steamroll their eight ACC opponents. At the start of the 1998 season the FSU defense swarmed a top 15 Texas A&M offense holding them to 14 points, and getting a marquee win. Every thing was going as expected for the 1998 season, until the Wolfpack showed up…

Nightmare at Carter-Finley

The headline above is the best way to describe the game against NCSU in 1998. The Seminoles came into the game going 47-1 in ACC games as a conference member. Everyone (probably even NCSU fans) expected Florida State to come in and steam roll the Wolfpack. The Seminoles were a 25 point favorite over the Wolfpack. After the first FSU offensive play, which went for a touchdown, the game looked like it would be a blow out. Little did FSU fans know that this would be their first and last touchdown of the day.

“To go out there and hold that offensive football team to seven points, that’s miraculous, that is miraculous,”said N.C. State coach Mike O’Cain, the upset easily the biggest victory of his career.


Future NFL Hall of Famer and former NCSU star wide receiver Torry Holt put on a clinic against the Seminoles. No one on the Seminole Defense could stop him, or even hope to contain him. No player dominated Florida State in their career like Torry Holt did, but maybe recently Lamar Jackson.

It also did not help that future Heisman trophy winner Chris Weinke threw six interceptions, whaich was a school record. Weinke went 8 of 29 until he was benched in the middle of the fourth quarter. Nothing went the Seminoles way that day. This game was an absolute nightmare for Seminole fans in 1998. Even though Florida State went all the way to the national championship that season, this game gave a bad taste for every FSU fan.

“The bottom line is execution and I didn’t execute, There was stuff open that I just missed. That is the factor in the game. If I hit some of those open guys at least we have a chance to win the game. You don’t expect to lose around here — that’s the bottom line. Every time you play somebody they are coming after us. People are looking to beat us.” – FSU QB Chris Weinke 1997-2000

The Seminoles went on to lose 24-7, and were absolutely dominated. After this 1998 game, no Seminole looks forward to games in Carter-Finley, which FSU will pay a visit to this season.


1999 It Was Personal


Personally I was seven years old walking up Lake Bradford road towards Doak Campbell Stadium. Suddenly I heard sirens of a fire truck behind me. I thought something was wrong, until I noticed pageantry on the fire truck. The sirens running as loud as they could, I spotted a stuffed animal on top of the truck. The stuffed animal was a wolf, that had multiple tears, and taped up made to look like it took a beating.

That is exactly what the Seminoles did in 1999 was beat up the Wolfpack on the field. The revenge game was a 42-11 beat down, where the Noles displayed their frustrations. Florida State came into a game with a fire in their belly, especially the Florida State defense. They forced multiple turnovers, held the Wolfpack passing attack to 40% completion rate, and had two defensive touchdowns.

FSU Kicker Sebastian Janikowski knocked in five field goals on the day, scoring 18 points of the 42 total.

“We came out strong and they got paid back,” Janikowski said. “That’s the
best feeling ever.”

Chris Weinke had no where to go but up from last years game. While he did struggle in the 1999 game as well, he helped pad a huge margin of victory win for Florida State. Weinke especially had a grudge against the Wolfpack and the quote below probably represents every Florida State fans thoughts on NC State in 1999.

“I would have loved to have buried those guys,” Weinke said. “And we
didn’t bury them.”

Even FSU legend Peter Warrick was not satisfied with the 42-11 win, he wanted more.

“Forty two points is not enough against a team that humiliated us last
year,” said Florida State’s Peter Warrick, who caught nine passes for 75 yards
and returned 2 punts for 46 yards.

With those three quotes and the atmosphere that surrounded Tallahassee on September 18, 1999 this game definitely belongs on the list. The 1998 game brought us humiliation, embarrassment, but in 1999 it brought redemption and revenge.

What is your opinion? Does this 1999 game against North Carolina State belong as a top 5 revenge game?


#4. 1996 Florida State vs. Virginia

Twenty nine wins and zero losses. When Florida State joined the ACC in 1992 they drilled almost every ACC opponent they played the first four seasons. They beat every conference opponent in their first four years in the ACC except one, which to every FSU fan it shouldn’t have even happened. This game needed major revenge due to the circumstance at the end of the game. The Virginia Cavaliers beat FSU causing the first ACC loss. Look at the play below and give your opinion in the comments.

The Dispute

On the last play of the game with seconds left, FSU decides their best player would be assured one last touch. Senior running back Warrick Dunn took the direct snap, followed the right side of the line and made it to the goal line. If instant replay was around in 1995 it would have been a Florida State victory 34-33.

Jefferson-Eppes Trophy

Description: The Florida State–Virginia football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the Florida State Seminoles football team of Florida State University and Virginia Cavaliers football team of the University of Virginia. The Jefferson–Eppes Trophy is awarded to the winner of the game. The trophy was created in 1995 and was named for former President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson, and Francis W. Eppes VII, Jefferson’s grandson and two-time mayor of Tallahassee, and president of the Board of Trustees of the West Florida Seminary, now Florida State University.

Origin:The idea for the Jefferson–Eppes Trophy was conceived by Florida State University President Talbot D’Alemberte


So while the series of FSU-UVA has been interesting at times, it has been dominated by Florida State. Some thought it would become a rivalry game, but you can just call it a trophy game. The divisional split of the ACC has put temporary cease to this game in pauses.


1996 FSU 31 UVA 24


While revenge was a success this game, many Nole fans were uneasy the whole game. At halftime Virginia held a 17-14 lead, and would not give up. Late in the fourth quarter FSU was winning 31-17, but Virginia managed to get it to one score game under three minutes remaining. The games hero was James Colzie as he intercepted an UVA pass and doused their come back hopes.

A loss wouldn’t have hurt FSU’s chances of winning the ACC but it was a needed revenge game. Losing to UVA twice could have sped up the phase of the rest of the ACC gaining on FSU’s separation of talent (we saw from 2001-present).

What is your opinion? Does this 1996 game against Virginia belong as a top 5 revenge game?


#2 Tied. 2005 Florida State vs. Miami and 2010 Florida State vs. Florida

Welcome to the part of the list where true pain is felt, and even more true relief is found. To the millennial Seminole fan these two wins brought instant relief, and joy. Both of these games that are tied at #3 has to deal with our most hated rivals. I couldn’t decide which game would be ahead of the other as they are truly even. Many Nole fans remember the pain from the years 2000-2004 and from 2004-2009. There was a time it seemed like we couldn’t get a handle on both rivals at the same time, today most Noles should feel spoiled.

2000-2004 Six Straight Losses to the Canes


The late 90’s spoiled many FSU fans as it was a time period of having full control of the Hurricanes. From 1995-1999 the Hurricanes couldn’t touch the Seminoles. Control seemed to start fading in the 2000 season. While FSU had a team great enough to make it to the national championship game, they still fell to the Hurricanes in a nail biting game. After that game, it seemed like separation was further than ever as the Hurricanes displayed on of the great teams ever seen in college football. In 2001 the Noles were blown out 49-27 in Tallahassee. With Bobby Bowden starting to slip further into age, recruiting battles heated up hotter than ever before, and a major storm brewing to the south many Noles were worries. While after the 2001 game many Noles could see future blowouts to the Hurricanes if things did not change. Little did they know that things would get way worse than some could ever imagine.


There are two types of people in this world. Some are hurt worst when their team loses a heart breaker than seeing their team blown out. Others are hurt vice versa and would rather lose a heart breaker any day instead of lose in a breakout. (If you’re like me you hate both options)


While 2001 was the blow out game, the next five games against the Hurricanes would obliterate Seminole hearts. We would see our first wide right in the last seconds in 2002. We would see the best FSU team in the 2000’s lose by one possessions twice in 2003 (regular season and Orange Bowl). To cap it off we would see the 2004 FSU team dominate Miami the whole game, to let Miami come back near the end and win in overtime. The series from 2002-2004 had to be one of the most heart breaking sequence in FSU history.


The 2005 season was a special one because of the wild ride it took. It started with a 5 game winning streak, until UVA gave the Noles a close upset. FSU would bounce back with two straight wins, and were #9 in the polls. With three games left FSU went on to lose all three games. A team now at 7-4, that many thought were left for dead ended up back dooring their way into the ACC Championship game with a conference record of 5-3 (that rarely happens). With everyone (includes a lot of FSU fans) writing off FSU against Virginia Tech. Somehow someway they defeated the top five Hokies and went on to the Orange Bowl. They would then take #3 Penn State to three overtimes losing a heart breaker 26-23. This might have been the most inconsistent football team in history, but there was no doubt they could go toe to toe with anyone.

Revenge in a Muff

The most special part of that season was the first game, breaking that six game losing streak to Miami. REVENGE was in order that night, and the defense made sure of that. FSU started its first freshman Quarterback that night since 1985 Chip Ferguson. Starting quarterback Drew Weatherford had a terrible night going 7/24 throwing under 100 yards, and one interception. The entire offense had a terrible night, not even reaching the 200 yards for total offense.

That was okay though, because defense played one of their better games under GOAT defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews. They only allowed Miami into the end-zone one time, and kept them stiff the entire night.

This game wasn’t just revenge to break a streak, it also gave relief from the 1991 and 1992 games. For the first time in the series, the kicking game finally went FSU’s way which you can see in the video below. In my 25 years of life this is the loudest game I have ever been apart of at Doak Campbell Stadium.



Six Straight Losses to the Gators 2004-2009


Losing to Miami for six years is awful, but nothing will beat losing to the Gators for six years. In the mid to late 2000’s both programs were on opposite ends of the success spectrum. Florida was having the best stretch in their program history, while FSU was having their worst in 30 years. Weathering the storm was crucial as the legendary Bobby Bowden era was dying down. The most painful part of this stretch was that only two of the games were close, and there was quite the separation between both programs.

Revenge in 2010


Picture Credit: Colin Hackley cc 2010

The situation for the 2010 game could not have came soon enough. Urban Meyer was having “health problems”, and momentum was changing. FSU was ushering in the Jimbo Fisher era slowly reversing back into success. With six years of losing to the Gators looming over our heads, many Seminole fans had doubt in their minds. Many were doubtful FSU would break the streak until it actually happened.

The doubtfulness came into fruition when the first quarter ended in a 7-3 Florida Gator lead. Many were thinking “here we go again…” Near the start of the second quarter the Noles scored on a Lonnie Pryor touchdown and it was all down hill from there. The Gators would not score again, and the Seminoles started pounding the Gator endzone with points.

This game truly got the monkey off the Seminole back as the Noles have won seven of the last eight in the rivalry game.


#1. 1993 Florida State vs. Miami

The most painful memories to older Seminole fans deal with were two words, “wide right.” 1991 and 1992 had potential to be national championship teams, just their seasons sailed some to the right. Since you are on a Florida State blog I shouldn’t have to elaborate anything on why the 1991 and 1992 games against Miami cut right down to the core. Also let us not forget how close the 1990 game was as well. I refuse to write about any of that today though, instead we are going to focus on the number one revenge game in Florida State history. This game is the 1993 national champions defeating the Miami Hurricanes. Defeat isn’t even a strong enough adjective to use in the 1993 game, the Seminoles crushed the souls of the Hurricanes

Fast Juggernaut Offense

Everyone knew 1993 was a special season, and when I say everyone I mean nationally! Florida State came into the season ranked number one, and deservingly so. With the birth of the fast break offense late in the 1992 season, people knew FSU was a force to be reckoned with in 1993.

Led by that seasons Heisman trophy winner Charlie Ward, the Noles would run defenses out of the stadium. Before the Miami game the offense already was averaging 45.6 points per game. They also destroyed nationally ranked Clemson 57-0 and North Carolina 33-7. When the Miami Hurricanes came to town there was only one thing on the Seminoles mind and that was revenge. Especially for a senior class that was 0-3 against the Canes thus far in their career.


Score! Score! Score!


Sean Jackson swept around right end and raced 69 yards to the end zone to give FSU the lead just 3:43 into the game.

On third and 10 from the FSU 28, Charlie Ward broke out of the pocket and scrambled to his right. On the run, he lofted a ball over two UM defenders to a streaking Matt Frier in stride for a 72-yard score.

Ward gave the Seminoles a 14 point halftime advantage when he scrambled into the end zone from two yards away early in quarter number two.

 Florida State strong safety Devin Bush, a Miami native, snatched a Frank Costa pass and went 40 yards for a score to provide the final margin. The interception was the first of Bush’s career. 


The text above each gif comes from



Florida State 28 Miami 10


Many were worried about the #3 Hurricanes entering Tallahassee with the recent history. Everyone knew both teams were great, and it would probably be a close game. After the first quarter, you could tell there was a hefty bit of separation between the teams. Miami had no answer for the fast break offense as FSU racked up 450 yards of total offense and averaged 7.4 yards a play. The defense was also stiff, holding an elite Miami passing attack under 200 yards, and all without All-American and NFL Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks in the second half. The ten points would be the lowest Miami would be held to that regular season.


  • 1993 was the first win against Miami since 1989
  • Largest Margin of Victory against Miami since 1984
  • Since 1993 FSU is 16-10 against Miami
  • Since 1993 FSU has three national championships to Miami’s one




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