Okay, I usually like to do my lists in 5s. I just can’t with this one, so I’m expanding it to 10. My list, my rules! In a rivalry that’s been played 57 times with so many of those games featuring two great teams, you’re bound to have more outstanding performances. That is certainly the case here. I’ll do it in countdown style, but many of these could probably be flipped around. Performances against good Gator teams are weighted more heavy and I only considered performances in a winning cause (or a tie that felt like a win).
10) Leon Washington 2002 – 26 carries 134 yards 1 TD; 2 punt returns 45 yards
In a matchup of Top 25 teams, Freshman Leon Washington carried the team on his back to make sure that the Gators went another few years without winning in Doak Campbell Stadium
9) Amp Lee 1990 – 26 carries 147 yards 2 TDs; 3 catches 43 yards 1 TDs
A Top 10 matchup in Steve Spurrier’s first season was dominated by Amp Lee and his 190 total yards and 3 TDs. Spurrier would get use to leaving Doak without a victory.
8) Marvin Jones 1990 – 18 tackles 1 sack
While the FSU offense was rolling, Marvin Jones was single handedly doing everything he could to prevent the Gators from making it a game. Among his 18 tackles, 12 were of the solo variety.
7) Ron Sellers 1967 – 7 catches 153 yards 1 TD
Sellers would account for 44% of the offense for Florida State as they won their first ever game in Gainesville. Considering inflation, Sellers 153 yards would be somewhere around 257 yards in today’s passing. (Disclaimer: that was completely made up.)
6) Snoop Minnis 2000 – 8 catches 187 yards 2 TDs
Only one game separated FSU and a possible National Championship Game appearance, 4th ranked Florida. Minnis did his part with accounting for 53% of the receiving yards on a gaudy 23.37 yard per catch average while putting nail in the coffin with a 51 yard reception at the end of the 3rd.
5) Warrick Dunn 1993 – 6 carries 33 yards; 8 catches 140 yards 1 TD
Dunn will forever be remembered in this game for his 79 yard catch and run late in the game to seal the victory. He caught 7 other balls out of the backfield for 61 yards as a key escape target for Charlie Ward on the day and provided a spark running the ball, too.
4) Danny Kanell 1994 – 40/53 421 yards 1 TD; 5 carries 6 yards 1 TD
Kanell helped lead the Noles to the greatest 4th quarter comeback in history in the 31-31 tie/win. Down 28 to start the 4th, Kanell went an incredible 18 of 22 for 232 yards in the last quarter.
3) Warrick Dunn 1996 – 24 carries 185 yards
In 1996, #1 Florida was supposed to beat the Noles. Thanks to a career day by Warrick Dunn, gutsy defensive performance, and special teams magic, it was the Noles that came out on top. The FSU offense sputtered overall, but Dunn put it on his back as he accumulated 208 total yards, 65% of the offense on the day!
2) Peter Warrick 1998 – 8 catches 119 yards 1 TD; 1/2 46 yards 1 TD
With #5 FSU hoping for a shot at a National Championship game, they had to face off against #4 Florida without their quarterback. Peter Warrick had a magical day with 119 yards receiving with a nifty touchdown catch and run and then topped it off in a one-point game with a 46 yard touchdown pass to fellow receiver Ron Dugans on a reverse.
1) Charlie Ward 1993 – 38/53 446 yards 4 TD; 6 rushes 29 yards
With their first National Championship within sight, FSU had to travel to Gainesville to take on #7 Florida. In front of a deafening crowd, Ward would not only propel the Noles to a National Championship, he’d secure the school’s first Heisman Trophy with a career high game in yardage and 4 touchdown passes, none more memorable than his escape on 3rd and 10 to find Warrick Dunn.
Larry Key 1977 – 20 carries 143 yards
Ron Simmons 1978 – 14 tackles 2 TFL
Willie Jones 1978 – 9 tackles 5 sacks
Reggie Herring 1979 – 11 tackles 1 TFL 1 PBU 1 FF
Mark Lyles 1979 – 20 carries 151 yards 2 TDs
Marvin Jones 1992 – 11 tackles 3 TFL 2 PBU
Tamarick Vanover 1992 – 3 catches 43 yards 1 TD; 3 returns 181 yards