Between the years 1982 and 1990, Auburn and Florida State faced off seven times. Entering what would be the final contest of what had become a fierce rivalry in 1990, the two teams had split the previous 6 contests with the Seminoles having won three straight. Florida State carried a 4-1 record and a #7 ranking into Jordan-Hare Stadium to face off against the #5 ranked Auburn Tigers who were sitting at 4-0-1. The Seminoles were hoping to bounce back from 31-22 loss to their hated rival Miami. Auburn, meanwhile, were breaking a new starting quarterback, some guy named Stan White. The final matchup of that 8 year span proved to be a suitable finish to the brief but fun rivalry.
The first points of the game came after a Florida State miscue. After forcing a 3 & out midway through the first quarter, the Seminoles gave the ball right back on a Terrell Buckley fumble on the punt return. Auburn then leaned on their dynamic pair of Stacy Danley and Tony Richardson to march it the short distance to the endzone. The freshman Richardson punched it in from 6 yards out and the Tigers had grabbed the early lead.
But the Seminoles came roaring back. Bobby Bowden’s squad dominated the 2nd quarter, scoring 17 unanswered and carried a 17-7 lead into halftime. But Auburn started chipping away in the 2nd half. The Tigers tacked on a field goal in the 3rd quarter to cut the lead to 17-10. That’s where the score would stay heading into the final quarter of the game.
Then things got a bit wild. Facing a 3rd & 17 just past the halfway mark, Florida State got a bit too cute. The Noles tried to pull a fast one on the Tigers and ran a fumblerooski. Big Walter Tate wasn’t fooled and jumped on the ball before a Seminole lineman could pick it up.
Auburn quickly marched down the field and found themselves deep in FSU territory. Richardson again broke off a big run to put Auburn inside the 5 yard line.
Two plays later. Stacy Danley tied the game.
But there was still plenty of time left in the game with just under four minutes for Florida State to respond. A strike from Florida State quarterback Casey Weldon (who came in for eventual Super Bowl winning QB Brad Johnson) to tight end Dave Roberts put the Seminoles in Auburn territory. After an incomplete pass on 1st down, Weldon hit Lawrence Dawsey for 7 yards setting up a 3rd & 3. That’s when the start of a bizarre sequence began.
Tracy Rocker just blows by the FSU right tackle and has a clear shot at the sack. Somehow, Weldon escapes and scampers away from the rest of the AU defensive line. He’s actually picked up the first down but Eric Ramsey (yes that Eric Ramsey) comes flying in out of nowhere and strips the ball. Weldon recovers but he’s lost the 1st down and now FSU faces a 4th & 5. I will let Jim Fyffe take it from here.
Jim Von Wyle’s 38 yard field goal gave the Tigers the victory and sent the Seminoles home with two straight losses. What a wild game.
Florida State would not lose a game the rest of the season and finished the year 10-2. The Tigers would climb all the way up to #2 in the polls that year before losing three of their last five games, finishing the season 8-3-1. This was Pat Dye’s last winning season as Auburn’s head football coach and the following November the Eric Ramsey scandal would make national news.
But who wants to relive that right? Would be much more fun to rewatch that 1990 game in it’s entirety which you can do by clicking the video below.
38 days till kickoff! War Eagle!