Florida State puts its 23-game winning streak on the line with its third Thursday night date with Louisville. The Seminoles have a 9-5 all-time record in Thursday night games, which have included more than their share of highlight performances. Here are five of the top Thursday night performances by the Seminoles:
1. Ponder directs comeback at UNC (2009)
Quarterback Christian Ponder completed 33 of 40 attempts for 398 yards and three second half touchdowns as the Seminoles rallied for a 17-6 halftime deficit to defeat host North Carolina, 30-27. Set up by safety Jamie Robinson’s interception at the goal line, Ponder found receiver Rod Owens for a school record-tying 98-yard touchdown pass, which pulled the Noles within 24-23. Following a UNC field goal, Ponder drove FSU to the deciding score, which came on an 18-yard strike to Beau Reliford with 6:20 remaining. Owens finished with a career-high six receptions for 199 yards.
Rod Owens was unstoppable against the Tar Heels in 2009.
2. Beastly Jones buries Clemson (2002)
In the first ESPN Thursday night game at Doak Campbell Stadium, South Carolina native and Seminole back Greg Jones dished out more than visiting Clemson could handle. The 240-pounder powered his way for 165 yards on 22 carries, to go along with three touchdowns, scoring on runs of 20, 1 and 21 yards. On his final score of the night, with 7:26 remaining, Jones broke eight tackles. He had a longer, but similar run, covering 64 yards at the end of the first half. That romp set up a 5-yard touchdown pass from Chris Rix to Talman Gardner with six seconds remaining for a 28-24 lead the Noles would not relinquish.
Greg Jones was dominant in FSU’s first ESPN Thursday night game at Doak Campbell Stadium.
3. Greene delivers game-winner at Virginia Tech (2012)
Sophomore receiver Rashad Greene turned a slant pass from quarterback EJ Manuel into a 39-yard yard touchdown reception with 1:33 remaining, delivering the Seminoles a 28-22 win at Virginia Tech. FSU’s game-winning score was set up by James Wilder’s seven-yard gain on fourth-and-one as the Noles moved to 9-1 on the season for the first time since 2000. Manuel threw for 326 yards and three touchdowns, two of which went to Greene (6-125). Sophomore defensive back Tyler Hunter’s interception with 27 seconds to play sealed the win.
Rashad Greene scored two touchdowns in the Seminoles’ last Thursday night game.
4. Kanell throws for 454 in first ACC defeat (1995)
In a wild shootout at Virginia which came down to the final snap, Florida State tailback Warrick Dunn came up inches short of the goal line on a run with a direct snap, 33-28. The Seminoles repeatedly rallied against the Cavaliers in a game that remains ESPN’s top-rated Thursday night ACC contest, thanks in part to quarterback Danny Kanell. Kanell set an FSU record with 67 pass attempts, completing 32 for 454 yards and three touchdowns. With the help of a defense that limited Virginia to two second half field goals, Kanell drove the Noles the length of the field in 10 plays over the final 1:31 before Dunn was thwarted at the goal line.
Danny Kanell was tremendous in a losing effort in 1995.
5. Allen powers past Louisville in first Thursday game (1983)
Veteran tailback Greg Allen would not be denied when Louisville visited Doak Campbell Stadium for the first Thursday game in program history. Allen led a 336-yard rushing attack with 145 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries in a 51-7 victory, which was televised on TBS. Roosevelt Snipes added 109 yards on the ground for the Noles and the FSU defense limited the Cardinals to 194 yards. Louisville avoided a second 50-point shutout loss at the hands of the Noles by scoring with 1:02 remaining.
Greg Allen led FSU past Louisville in the Seminoles’ first-ever Thursday game in 1983.