As many are aware, Florida State football finished ranked in the top five every season from 1987 to 2000. The 1987 season started the streak as FSU finished 11-1 and No. 2 in the polls with only loss coming by a single point to rival Miami.
On this day 35 years ago, the Seminoles made sure they weren’t going to go 0-for-2 against their Sunshine State rivals. FSU scored the game’s final 25 points to top Florida, 28-14.
FSU was ranked No. 3 in the country as it arrived at Florida Field on Nov. 28, 1987. The Gators were just 6-4 coming in, but had won six straight over the Seminoles. Emmitt Smith’s second touchdown of the contest just one play into the second quarter gave the hometown team a 14-3 lead.
FSU chipped away with three Derek Schmidt field goals, including a then program record 53-yard make to close the first half. Less than five minutes remained in the third quarter when the Seminoles finally found the end zone on a 1-yard run by Dayne Williams. Williams would add a second 1-yard touchdown in the final period. Both scores were followed by successful 2-point conversions.
While Williams scored the touchdowns, Sammie Smith (17 carries, 116 yards rushing) and Dexter Carter (19 carries, 111 yards rushing) carried the load offensively. For an FSU defense that allowed just 207 yards, eventual Butkus Award winner Paul McGowan led the team with seven tackles. Smith rushed for an even 100 yards in the loss.
Garnet and Great
The Seminoles would go on to rally past Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl to close the year. Their win over Florida began a 4-game win streak in the rivalry. It came on this day 35 years ago.