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

1962Georgia18-0Sanford Stadium
Georgia Tech14-14Grant Field
Auburn14-14Cliff Hare Stadium
1963Miami24-0Orange Bowl
1964Georgia17-14Sanford Stadium
Texas Christian10-0Amon G. Carter Stadium
Miami14-0Orange Bowl
Oklahoma36-19Gator Bowl
1965Oklahoma36-19Gator Bowl
1966Miami23-20Orange Bowl
Texas Tech42-33Jones Stadium
South Carolina32-10Carolina Stadium
1967Alabama37-37Legion Field
Memphis State27-7Memphis Memorial Stadium
Texas A&M19-18Kyle Field
Florida21-16Florida Field
Penn State17-17Gator Bowl
1968N.C. State48-7Carter Stadium
South Carolina35-28Carolina Stadium
Houston40-20gator Bowl Stadium
1969Miami19-14Orange Bowl
Virginia Tech10-10Lane Stadium
1970South Carolina21-13Carolina Stadium
Miami27-3Orange Bowl
1976Boston College28-9Alumni Stadium
North Texas State21-20Fouts Field
1977Oklahoma State25-17Lewis Field
Florida34-9Florida Field
Texas Tech40-17Tangerine Bowl
1978Syracuse28-0Archbold Stadium
1979Arizona State31-3Sun Devil Stadium
Louisiana State24-19Tiger Stadium
Florida27-16Florida Field
1980Louisiana State16-0Tiger Stadium
Nebraska18-14Memorial Stadium
1981Ohio State36-27Ohio Stadium
Notre Dame19-13Notre Dame Stadium
1982Miami24-7Orange Bowl
Ohio State34-17Ohio Stadium
West Virginia31-12Gator Bowl
1983Arizona State29-26Sun Devil Stadium
Louisiana State40-35Tiger Stadium
North Carolina28-3Atlanta Fulton County Stadium
1984Arizona State52-44Sun Devil Stadium
Georgia17-17Citrus Bowl
1985Nebraska17-13Memorial Stadium
Oklahoma State34-23Gator Bowl
1986Indiana27-13Legion Field
1987Michigan State31-3Spartan Stadium
Auburn34-6Jordan-Hare Stadium
Florida28-13Florida Field
Nebraska31-28Sun Devil Stadium
1988Clemson24-21Clemson Memorial Stadium
Auburn13-7Louisiana Superdome
1989Florida24-17Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field
Nebraska41-17Sun Devil Stadium
1990Penn State24-17Joe Robbie Stadium
1991Michigan51-31Michigan Stadium
Texas A&M10-2Cotton Bowl
1992Clemson24-20Clemson Memorial Stadium
Georgia Tech29-24Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field
Nebraska27-14Orange Bowl
1993Florida33-21Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field
Nebraska18-16Orange Bowl
1994Notre Dame23-16Citrus Bowl
Florida23-17Louisiana Superdome
1995Notre Dame31-26Orange Bowl
1997North Carolina20-3Kenan Memorial Stadium
Ohio State31-14Sugar Bowl
1999Florida30-23Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field
Virginia Tech46-29Sugar Bowl
2001Virginia Tech30-17Gator Bowl
2003Florida38-34Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field
2004West Virginia30-18Gator Bowl
2005Virginia Tech27-22Gator Bowl
Virginia Tech27-22Alltel Stadium – ACC Championship
2006Miami13-10Orange Bowl
UCLA44-27Emerald Bowl
2007Boston College27-17Alumni Stadium
2008Miami41-39Orange Bowl
Maryland37-3Byrd Stadium
Wisconsin42-13Champs Sports Bowl
2009Brigham Young54-28LaVell Edwards Stadium
North Carolina30-27Keenan Stadium
Wake Forest41-28BB&T Field
West Virginia33-21Gator Bowl
2010Miami45-17Sun Life Stadium
South Carolina26-17Chick-Fil-A Bowl
2011Florida21-7Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
Notre Dame18-14Champs Sports Bowl

Related Articles