By Bob Thomas
Associate Sports Information Director
There has been no shortage of big plays through the first 27 meetings between current ACC rivals Florida State and Clemson. Here’s a look at the five most memorable plays by the Seminoles in series history:
1. Puntrooskie (1988)
There might not be a single, more memorable play in FSU history than the one the No. 10 Noles pulled off to set up their 24-21 victory at No. 3 Clemson. Facing fourth down from its own 21, FSU coach Bobby Bowden reached into his bag of tricks and pulled out the “Puntrooskie” as up-back Dayne Williams slipped the ball between the legs of LeRoy Butler – as the FSU feigned a wild punt snap – who raced 78 yards around left end to the Clemson 1-yard line when he was pushed out of bounds by Donnell Woolford. Richie Andrews’ 19-yard field goal with 32 seconds remaining sealed the win and immortalized the most popular trick play in college football history.
2. Weinke-to-Snoop (2000)
Quarterback Chris Weinke offered up the mother of all play-action fakes and stood flat-footed with his back to the Tigers’ defense in the back of the FSU end zone at Doak Campbell Stadium. Calmly, he turned and fired a strike over the middle to All-American wide receiver Snoop Minnis, who collected the pass and raced a school-record 98 yards to give the Noles a 10-0 lead en route to a 54-7 thumping of Clemson.
3. Hopkins for the win (2010)
Kicker Dustin Hopkins delivered a career-long, 55-yard field goal on the final play of the game – the longest walk-off, winning kick in Atlantic Coast Conference history – for a 16-13 victory at Doak Campbell Stadium. Hopkins’ game winner, the first by an FSU team on the final play since 1983, came one week after he had missed a potential game-winner at home against North Carolina. It also kept the Noles in the ACC Atlantic Division title race. The Tigers had won four of the last five meetings against FSU before Hopkins authored the first walk-off, winning kick of his career.
Watch Hopkins’ 55-yard Game-Winner
Greg Jones, a specimen of a 240-pound tailback for the Seminoles, was unstoppable in the Seminoles’ first and only Thursday night home game against the rival Tigers. The South Carolina native rushed for 165 yards on 22 carries, including three touchdowns, but his 64-yard rumble with the first half winding down was memorable. Running through Tiger defenders undeterred, he run set up a 5-yard TD pass from Chris Rix to Talman Gardner with six seconds remaining for a 28-24 lead the Noles did not relinquish. Jones sealed FSU’s 11th consecutive win over the Tigers with a 21-yard power burst, breaking eight tackles, for the 48-31 final margin.
Watch Jones’ 64-yard Rumble
Florida State was on the path to its first national championship with freshman kicker Scott Bentley quieted the crowd with one of the most athletic plays in program history. Clemson’s Brian Dawkins blocked a Bentley point-after attempt and was racing toward the end zone for a two-point defensive conversion. Bentley, however, had other ideas as he chased down the future NFL star from behind and tackled him at the 12. That played enabled the Seminoles to preserve a 57-0 shutout and hand the 17th-ranked Tigers their most lopsided defeat in 62 years.
Watch Bentley Catch Dawkins
Honorable Mention: LeRoy Butler’s “Puntrooskie” rumble to set up the winning score bumped another play from the 1988 game – Deion Sanders’ 76-yard punt return for a TD – from this list. Sanders’ game-tying dash was made memorable because he told the entire Clemson bench that he was “bringing this one back” and delivered on his promise at Death Valley.
Watch Deion’s Punt Return