Clemson Sports Information Department
Clemson vs. Florida State Series
Florida State has a 17-8 advantage in the series with Clemson that dates to 1970, a 38-13 Florida State win in Tallahassee.
While Florida State has the decisive all-time lead in the series, Clemson has won six of the last nine, including each of the last five games played at Clemson.
Florida State has not won at Clemson since the 2001 season, a 41-27 Seminole victory. Clemson has won just once in Tallahassee since the Seminoles joined the ACC for the 1992 season. That came in 2006 when he Tigers were victorious 27-20 on a one-yard run by James Davis with just eight seconds left.
Each of the last three years the winner of the Clemson vs. Florida State game has gone on to win the Atlantic Division Championship.
In 2003, Clemson upset a third-ranked Florida State team by a 26-10 score in a nationally televised Saturday night game at Death Valley. Florida State was coming off a 37-0 win at Notre Dame and Clemson was coming off a 45-17 loss at Wake Forest. It is tied for the highest ranked team Clemson has defeated in its history.
Clemson defeated eventual ACC Champion Florida State, 35-14, in Memorial Stadium in 2005 behind quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. The two teams were tied, 14-14, at the half before Clemson dominated the second half behind Whitehurst and receiver Chansi Stuckey.
Clemson won in 2007 on Labor Day night behind the running of James Davis. Davis had earlier scored the winning touchdown at Florida State in 2006 and the 2007 victory gave Clemson three straight wins over the Seminoles, the first ACC team to do that.
Then, in 2009, C.J. Spiller put on a show for the ages with 312 all-purpose yards, the all-time Clemson record, in a 40-24 victory. It was a big win on the way to Clemson’s Atlantic Division championship.
In 2010, Florida State won 16-13 on a 55-yard field goal on the last play of the game by Dustin Hopkins, who is still the Seminoles kicker. Clemson was 9-18 on third down and had a 25-16 advantage in first downs, but still lost the game. Jamie Harper, now in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans, had 143 yards rushing and 54 yards receiving for 197 yards from scrimmage.
Both teams are ranked in the top 25 of both polls this year, the second straight year that has been the case. Last year Clemson was 21st and Florida State 11th entering the game that the Tigers won 35-30. This is just the eighth time in the history of the series that both teams have entered the game in the top 25 of the AP poll.
In 2000, both teams were ranked in the top 10 as Clemson was 10th and Florida State four before Florida State’s 54-7 victory.
Clemson is 2-5 when entering a game against Florida State with both teams ranked. That first win took place in Tallahassee in 1989 when Clemson was 10th and Florida State 16th. Clemson was 3-0 and Florida State was 1-1 and had just been upset the week before by Southern Mississippi and quarterback Brett Favre.
The other Clemson victory in a battle of top 25 teams took place last year at Clemson. Five of Clemson’s last six wins against Florida State the Seminoles have been ranked in the top 25.
Other Series Notes
Florida State won 11 consecutive games in the series prior to Clemson’s victory in 2003. All the wins were recorded by Bobby Bowden, who had a 14-7 all-time record against Clemson. Bobby Bowden lost his last four appearances at Clemson’s Death Valley, but his 6-4 record in the facility is still the most victories by an opposing head coach. Vince Dooley (Georgia) is second with five.
The Clemson vs. Florida State games between 1999-07 were known as The Bowden Bowl, as Clemson was coached by Tommy Bowden and Florida State by Bobby Bowden. Bobby had a 5-4 advantage in those nine games, but Tommy won the last three. It is the only meeting of father and son head coaches in Division FBS history.
The first Bowden Bowl came in 1999, a 17-14 victory for Florida State. That FSU team went on to win the national championship and the 17 points and three-point victory margin were the smallest for Florida State in that championship season.
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