June 17, 2014 - by

The Sod Cemetery

For nearly six decades, “sod games” and the Florida State University Sod Cemetery have been a rich part of the Seminoles college football history, commemorating many of the greatest victories. 

In 1962, as the Seminoles completed their Thursday practice in preparation to face Georgia at Sanford Stadium, Dean Coyle Moore – a long-time professor and member of FSU’s athletic board – issued a challenge:  “Bring back some sod from between the hedges at Georgia.”  On Saturday, October 20, the Seminoles scored an 18-0 victory over the favored Bulldogs.  Team captain Gene McDowell pulled a small piece of grass from the field, which was presented to Moore at the next football practice.  Moore and FSU coach Bill Peterson had the sod buried on the practice field as a symbol of victory.  A monument was placed to commemorate the triumph and the tradition of the sod game was born.

Since then, before leaving for all road games in which Florida State is the underdog, all road games at the University of Florida and all ACC championship and bowl games, Seminole captains gather their teammates to explain the significance of the tradition.  Victorious captains return with a piece of the opponent’s turf to be buried in the Sod Cemetery outside the gates of the practice field.

Away from home and against the odds, Florida State sod games represent the most difficult battles on the football field.  The Sod Cemetery stands as a tribute to those triumphs, to be enjoyed by the Seminole faithful.

The Games

Year Opponent Score Site
1962 Georgia 18-0 Sanford Stadium
Georgia Tech 14-14 Grant Field
Auburn 14-14 Cliff Hare Stadium
1963 Miami 24-0 Orange Bowl
1964 Georgia 17-14 Sanford Stadium
Texas Christian 10-0 Amon G. Carter Stadium
Miami 14-0 Orange Bowl
Oklahoma 36-19 Gator Bowl
1965 Oklahoma 36-19 Gator Bowl
1966 Miami 23-20 Orange Bowl
Texas Tech 42-33 Jones Stadium
South Carolina 32-10 Carolina Stadium
1967 Alabama 37-37 Legion Field
Memphis State 27-7 Memphis Memorial Stadium
Texas A&M 19-18 Kyle Field
Florida 21-16 Florida Field
Penn State 17-17 Gator Bowl
1968 N.C. State 48-7 Carter Stadium
South Carolina 35-28 Carolina Stadium
Houston 40-20 gator Bowl Stadium
1969 Miami 19-14 Orange Bowl
Virginia Tech 10-10 Lane Stadium
1970 South Carolina 21-13 Carolina Stadium
Miami 27-3 Orange Bowl
1976 Boston College 28-9 Alumni Stadium
North Texas State 21-20 Fouts Field
1977 Oklahoma State 25-17 Lewis Field
Florida 34-9 Florida Field
Texas Tech 40-17 Tangerine Bowl
1978 Syracuse 28-0 Archbold Stadium
1979 Arizona State 31-3 Sun Devil Stadium
Louisiana State 24-19 Tiger Stadium
Florida 27-16 Florida Field
1980 Louisiana State 16-0 Tiger Stadium
Nebraska 18-14 Memorial Stadium
1981 Ohio State 36-27 Ohio Stadium
Notre Dame 19-13 Notre Dame Stadium
1982 Miami 24-7 Orange Bowl
Ohio State 34-17 Ohio Stadium
West Virginia 31-12 Gator Bowl
1983 Arizona State 29-26 Sun Devil Stadium
Louisiana State 40-35 Tiger Stadium
North Carolina 28-3 Atlanta Fulton County Stadium
1984 Arizona State 52-44 Sun Devil Stadium
Georgia 17-17 Citrus Bowl
1985 Nebraska 17-13 Memorial Stadium
Oklahoma State 34-23 Gator Bowl
1986 Indiana 27-13 Legion Field
1987 Michigan State 31-3 Spartan Stadium
Auburn 34-6 Jordan-Hare Stadium
Florida 28-13 Florida Field
Nebraska 31-28 Sun Devil Stadium
1988 Clemson 24-21 Clemson Memorial Stadium
Auburn 13-7 Louisiana Superdome
1989 Florida 24-17 Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field
Nebraska 41-17 Sun Devil Stadium
1990 Penn State 24-17 Joe Robbie Stadium
1991 Michigan 51-31 Michigan Stadium
Texas A&M 10-2 Cotton Bowl
1992 Clemson 24-20 Clemson Memorial Stadium
Georgia Tech 29-24 Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field
Nebraska 27-14 Orange Bowl
1993 Florida 33-21 Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field
Nebraska 18-16 Orange Bowl
1994 Notre Dame 23-16 Citrus Bowl
Florida 23-17 Louisiana Superdome
1995 Notre Dame 31-26 Orange Bowl
1997 North Carolina 20-3 Kenan Memorial Stadium
Ohio State 31-14 Sugar Bowl
1999 Florida 30-23 Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field
Virginia Tech 46-29 Sugar Bowl
2001 Virginia Tech 30-17 Gator Bowl
2003 Florida 38-34 Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field
2004 West Virginia 30-18 Gator Bowl
2005 Virginia Tech 27-22 Gator Bowl
Virginia Tech 27-22 Alltel Stadium – ACC Championship
2006 Miami 13-10 Orange Bowl
UCLA 44-27 Emerald Bowl
2007 Boston College 27-17 Alumni Stadium
2008 Miami 41-39 Orange Bowl
Maryland 37-3 Byrd Stadium
Wisconsin 42-13 Champs Sports Bowl
2009 Brigham Young 54-28 LaVell Edwards Stadium
North Carolina 30-27 Keenan Stadium
Wake Forest 41-28 BB&T Field
West Virginia 33-21 Gator Bowl
2010 Miami 45-17 Sun Life Stadium
South Carolina 26-17 Chick-Fil-A Bowl
2011 Florida 21-7 Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
Notre Dame 18-14 Champs Sports Bowl

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