June 17, 2014 - by

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1965 Gator Bowl

Florida State 36 Oklahoma 19




Jacksonville, Fla. (Jan. 2, 1965) — The brilliant passing combination of Steve Tensi and Fred
Biletnikoff rewrote the Gator Bowl record book and gave the upstart Seminoles an impressive 36-19
victory over Oklahoma.



The Florida State victory will long be remembered as one of the greatest passing shows in college
football history. Tensi completed 23-of-36 passes for 303 yards and five touchdowns while
Biletnikoff hauled in 13 balls for 192 yards and four TDs. Both players signed professional
contracts on the field at the completion of the game.



Oklahoma claimed the first break of the day as Tensi was intercepted in the first period.
The Sooners marched to the Seminole 34, but on third down FSU defensive back Howard Ehler
picked off an OU pass and sailed 63 yards for the game’s initial touchdown. Later in the
quarter, the Sooners came back to claim a 7-6 lead. That lead lasted only as long as it took
the Tribe to move 90 yards.



Phil Spooner was instrumental in the drive and Tensi continued to pick apart the OU defense.
From the 15, Tensi hit Biletnikoff for a 12-7 lead. Twice more before intermission, Tensi
found Biletnikoff for touchdowns. The first score followed a George D’Ales-sandro fumble
recovery, and the second came on a long drive against the clock. The halftime score was
24-7, FSU.



Early in the second half, Oklahoma recovered a Seminole fumble and cut the lead to 24-13, but
as the third period drew to a close, the Seminoles executed an 82-yard drive. On the last
play of the quarter, Tensi hit Don Floyd for the touchdown.



With 10 minutes left and the score 30-19, it was time for the Seminole defense to take over.
The Sooners came up short on two late drives and FSU finally tacked on its final TD – a 14-yard
Tensi-to-Biletnikoff connection that made the final 36-19.


Score By Quarters
     1    2   3   4    F
FSU  6   18   6   6   36
OK   7    0   6   6   19
Scoring Summary
FSU - Ehler 69 yd. int. return (Spooner kick failed), 11:40
OK -  Kennedy one yd. run (Metcalf kick), 1:53
FSU - Biletnikoff 15 yd. pass from Tensi (Tensi pass intercepted), 12:16
FSU - Biletnikoff 14 yd. pass from Tensi (Tensi pass failed), 6:23
FSU - Biletnikoff 9 yd. pass from Tensi (Tensi pass failed), :37
OK -  Pannell one yd. run (Brown pass failed), 4:26
FSU - Floyd 15 yd. pass from Tensi (Tensi pass failed), :00
OK -  Hart 95 yd. pass from Fletcher (Pannell pass failed), 11:22 
FSU - Biletnikoff 6yd. pass from Tensi (Spooner kick), 4:40
Team Statistics
                         FSU       OK
First Downs               29       13
Rushes - Yards        39-217   27-209
Passing Yards            303      209 
Comp.-Att.-Int.      23-36-4  10-22-1
Plays-Total Offense   73-520   70-280
Punt Return Yards          4        1
Punts - Average         1-26     6-38
Fumbles - Lost           2-2      2-1
Interceptions - Yards   4-35     1-69
Penalties - Yards       7-52     3-35    
Third Down Cov.         9-13     9-17
Individual Statistics
Rushing:    FSU - Green 2-10, Giardino 7-82, Spooner 27-125; 
             OK - Kennedy 13-32, Ringer 7-41, Page 10-(-22), L. Brown 7-17, Pannell 3-2, 
                  Mayhue 1-3, Fletcher 1-1.
Passing:    FSU - Tensi 23-36-4; OK - Page 7-15-1, Fletcher 3-7-0.
Receiving:  FSU - Biletnikoff 13-192, Floyd 5-52, Giardino 2-14, Blankenship 1-12, 
                  Spooner 1-17, Dawson 1-16; 
             OK - Hart 6-165, Ringer 1-17, Brown 2-15, Pannell 1-12.


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