Photo courtesy of Garnet and Great/FSU archivist
The Jefferson-Eppes Trophy will be on the line on Saturday night as Florida State plays host to Virginia.
The prime time contest will feature two programs heading in opposite directions. Since FSU topped No. 5 North Carolina, it has lost three straight contests by an average of 24 points per game. The Cavaliers have won three straight since a 1-4 start.
Although short, the two programs have some significant history against one another. For FSU, most of it has been good. Here’s a look back on the top five moments for the Seminoles against Virginia:
5. Jimbo Fisher Gets First ACC Road Win
FSU 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.
4. Bowden Ties Pop Warner
(21) FSU 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. 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 in the win.
3. Bowden, Andrews Get Last ACC Shutout
Virginia 0, FSU 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.
2. FSU Clinches First ACC Title
(6) FSU 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.
1. Seminoles Blast Virginia in Top-10 Showdown
(6) Virginia 3, (7) FSU 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 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.