Florida State and LSU are two of the most recognizable brands in college football.
Residing in their respective states’ capital cities, the teams have nine prior meetings. It has been more than three decades, however, since they last met on the gridiron.
That will change on Sunday night in New Orleans as FSU looks for its first 2-0 start since 2016 while the Tigers begin the Brian Kelly era. The teams will meet again next season in Orlando. The all-time series hasn’t featured that many nail-biters, but the Seminoles have had the upper hand historically.
Here’s a look back on the previous meetings:
LSU 31, (19) FSU 27 — Dec. 30, 1968 (Peach Bowl)
The first meeting between the schools, only bowl meeting and only contest on a neutral field came in the Peach Bowl to cap the 1968 season. FSU trailed 24-13 after three quarters, but used a pair of touchdown passes from Bill Cappleman to Ron Sellers to take the lead with just over six minutes to go. Unfortunately for FSU, it would not hold up. Maurice LeBlanc scored from three yards out with less than three minutes to play as LSU overcame five turnovers to top FSU.
(8) FSU 24, LSU 19 — Oct. 27, 1979
More than a decade after the first meeting, FSU got its first win over LSU and did so in Baton Rouge. The Tigers led 13-7, but Florida State responded with 17 straight points. Jimmy Jordan passed for 312 yards and three touchdowns for the Seminoles in the win. Jackie Flowers caught six passes for 174 yards and a score in the win. With 3:22 to go, Steve Ensminger’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Carlos Carson pulled LSU to within five, but Monk Bonasorte’s second interception of the day sealed the win for the Seminoles.
(13) FSU 16, LSU 0 — Sept. 6, 1980
In the season opener for both teams, Florida State and LSU each finished with fewer than 250 yards. The difference was four LSU turnovers. Paul Piurowski totaled 13 tackles for the Seminoles while Monk Bonasorte tallied an interception. After three Bill Capece field goals, Sam Platt scored the game’s only touchdown late in the third quarter.
(20) FSU 38, LSU 14 — Oct. 24, 1981
The LSU defense had no answer for Florida State running back Greg Allen. Allen rushed for a then FSU record 202 yards and a touchdown as the Seminoles never trailed. Rick Stockstill added a pair of touchdown passes in the win. Billy Allen also returned a kickoff 97 yards for a score. Garry Futch and James Harris each had three sacks for an FSU defense that tallied eight. LSU’s Alan Risher passed for 287 yards and rushed for a touchdown in the loss.
(7) FSU 21, (12) LSU 55 — Nov. 20, 1982
The most points scored in the series came from LSU late in the 1982 season as the Tigers blasted the Seminoles. LSU finished with 620 yards of offense, including 385 yards on the ground. A touchdown pass and rush from FSU quarterback Kelly Lowrey evened the game at 14 in the second quarter, but the Tigers responded with 35 straight points. LSU running back Dalton Hilliard accounted for 233 yards of total offense and four total touchdowns. Alan Risher passed for three touchdowns in the LSU win.
(12) FSU 40, (13) LSU 35 — Sept. 10, 1983
LSU and FSU met in five straight seasons from 1979 to 1983 and the final of those was a shootout. For the second time in three years, Greg Allen eclipsed the 200-yard rushing mark for the Seminoles against LSU. Allen rushed for 201 yards and a touchdown. The Seminoles fell behind 14-0 early, but responded with 33 straight points. FSU’s Kelly Lowrey passed for 233 yards and accounted for four total touchdowns with three coming on the ground. Brian McCrary had two interceptions for an FSU defense that forced four turnovers. LSU’s Dalton Hilliard finished with 128 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Garry James scored two touchdowns in the final minute for LSU to make the final score look closer than the game actually was.
FSU 31, (21) LSU 21 — Sept. 16, 1989
After an 0-2 start to the season, Florida State rallied in the fourth quarter to top LSU and begin a 10-game winning streak to end the year. FSU led 17-6 in the third quarter, but a pair of touchdowns from Eddie Fuller — one rushing and one receiving — gave the Tigers a 21-17 lead early in the fourth. FSU responded with back-to-back 7-yard touchdown runs from quarterback Peter Tom Willis and fullback Edgar Bennett. Willis passed for 301 yards in the win and also threw a touchdown pass to Terry Anthony, who caught seven balls for 101 yards. As a team, FSU racked up 522 yards of offense.
LSU 3, (12) FSU 42 — Oct. 27, 1990
Legendary FSU head coach Bobby Bowden’s 200th career victory was marred by a late-game fight that started after a late hit was called on Florida State linebacker Kirk Carruthers. In the only meeting between the teams in Tallahassee, FSU put up 468 yards of offense. Amp Lee rushed for three touchdowns in the win. Casey Weldon passed for 229 yards and a touchdown to Shannon Baker, who made an incredible catch on the last play of the first half. Carruthers finished with 13 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Safeties Leon Fowler and John Davis each recorded interceptions in the win.
(1) FSU 27, LSU 16 — Oct. 26, 1991
The last meeting between the teams saw LSU race to a 13-0 lead and take a 16-14 advantage into the final quarter against top-ranked Florida State. William Floyd’s short touchdown run less than a minute into the fourth quarter put the Seminoles ahead for good. Amp Lee’s third touchdown of the day and second rushing four minutes later capped the scoring. Lee finished with 112 yards rushing in the win. Errol McCorvey and Leon Fowler each recorded interceptions for an FSU defense that held the Tigers scoreless in the second half.
AUTHOR’s NOTE: Portions of this post appeared in a February 2020 article published at The Daily Nole by the same author