A Historical Overview: FSU Football’s History in Jacksonville
Photo courtesy of Garnet and Great/Florida State Football Archivist

A Historical Overview: FSU Football’s History in Jacksonville

This post appeared at The Daily Nole on May 31, 2018

What had been reported more than a year and a half prior became official earlier this month: Florida State and Boise State will play the 2019 opener in Jacksonville.

As we noted earlier, this will be FSU’s first contest in Jacksonville since the Gator Bowl to conclude the 2009 season and first during the regular season since beating Colorado in September 2008. Over 71 years of football however, the Seminoles have been no stranger to the River City.

The Aug. 31, 2019 contest against the Broncos will mark the 18th time that the Seminoles have played a football game in Jacksonville. Here’s a look at the previous 17:

Overall Record: 14-2-1
Florida State has enjoyed great success in Jacksonville over the years with a 14-2-1 record. The Seminoles enjoy a current 8-game winning streak in the city. FSU is 6-0-1 in the Gator Bowl with the lone blemish — if you want to call it that — being a 17-17 tie with Penn State to round out the 1967 season.

Notable Victories
Florida State’s 36-19 win over Oklahoma to close the 1964 season gave the Seminoles their first-ever top-25 finish as they completed the year with a 9-1-1 record and a No. 11 national ranking.

For the legendary Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden, the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville was where his career ended. Bowden final’s game was a 33-21 upset of No. 18 West Virginia, where he previously coached, to end the 2009 season. FSU’s 30-17 win over Virginia Tech to close the 2001 season also drew Bowden even with the legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant with 323 career wins.

Beginning the Year in Jacksonville
The 2019 contest against Boise State will mark the third time that Florida State has opened the season in Jacksonville. The most notable loss came in September 1989 as a Southern Mississippi quarterback named Brett Favre helped the Golden Eagles stun the Seminoles, 30-26.

Fresh off a national championship, Florida State opened the 2000 season with an easy 29-3 victory over BYU. Senior quarterback Chris Weinke would begin his Heisman Trophy campaign with a 318-yard passing performance in that one and a pair of touchdown tosses.

Most Common Foe in Jacksonville: West Virginia
The most common opponent for Florida State in Jacksonville has been West Virginia. The Seminoles and Mountaineers have met in the Gator Bowl three times with each of those contests going the way of FSU.

In addition to Bobby Bowden’s final contest as head coach, Bowden also got the better of his former school to conclude the 1982 and 2004 seasons. Greg Allen rushed for 182 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the 1982 contest. Leon Washington and Lorenzo Booker combined for 298 yards rushing in the 2004 finale, which included a 69-yard rushing touchdown from Washington on the first play from scrimmage.

The only opponent to face FSU in Jacksonville more than once is Virginia Tech.

Best Performance: Peter Warrick vs. Duke in 1999
The numbers might not be ungodly, but Peter Warrick needed less than a half to account for four total touchdowns in the 1999 contest against Duke. After catching three first-quarter touchdown passes from quarterback Chris Weinke, Warrick threw a 35-yard touchdown toss to Laveranues Coles midway through the second quarter as FSU built a 44-0 halftime lead.

Warrick finished with 67 yards receiving on six catches and the three scores. The 35-yard touchdown toss accounted for all of his passing yards.

Other Items of Note
The only time Florida State played a true road game in Jacksonville came in 1951 as the Seminoles shut out Jacksonville Naval Air Station. That’s also the only shutout for FSU in Jacksonville.

Against Houston, Florida State has had more success in Jacksonville than any other venue. FSU is just 2-13-2 all-time against the Cougars, but one of those wins came in Jacksonville in 1967. The only other location where the Seminoles have topped Houston was on the Cougars’ home field in 1975.

Prior to James Blackman starting last season against NC State, the last true freshman quarterback to start a game for the Seminoles was Chip Ferguson in the 1985 Gator Bowl against Oklahoma State. Ferguson passed for 338 yards and two touchdowns in the win.

The only neutral site loss for Alabama during the regular season under head coach Nick Saban came in Jacksonville to Florida State in 2007. After a scoreless first half, the Seminoles came alive in the second half of a 21-14 victory, thanks to a pair of touchdown passes from Xavier Lee to De’Cody Fagg.

Mike Ferguson is the lead writer for Double Fries No Slaw. Be sure to follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeWFerguson. Follow all of Mike’s work by liking his Facebook page.

Mike Ferguson

Mike Ferguson is the lead writer for Double Fries No Slaw and has more than 10 years of experience in online and print journalism. Mike graduated from Florida State University in 2009 and has had his work featured at numerous prominent publications such as Fox Sports, the Associated Press, Athlon Sports, Yahoo Sports and Sports Illustrated among others. Prior to joining Double Fries No Slaw, Mike was the founder and editor of The Daily Nole. He also serves as the managing editor for Fifth Quarter and is a contributor for Athlon Sports, Fish Stripes and Orlando Pinstriped Post. Mike and his wife Jennifer reside in Haines City, Fla. and have two daughters.