Flashback Friday: Noles and Irish play Game of the Century

With the announcement of the Georgia/Notre Dame series this week, I took a closer look at who the Irish would be playing out of the ACC in the upcoming seasons and it feels like their game with FSU this season is flying a bit under the radar. The defending National Champions matching up with a team that is just one year removed from playing for a National Championship and will be getting their star QB back will be one of the big time games of the 2014 season.

Looking back on the FSU/Notre Dame series, there have only been seven games so far with the Noles holding a 5-2 advantage and a two game winning streak. But, the most interesting game of the series was when these two teams met back in 1993 in the second meeting of the series.

It was Bobby Bowden vs Lou Holtz. It was #1 (FSU) vs #2 (Notre Dame). It was undefeated vs undefeated (both teams at 9-0).

An interesting side note…Mark Richt was FSU’s QB coach.

The NCAA “Bowl Coalition” Poll at game time was…

1. FSU

2. Notre Dame

3. Miami

4. Nebraska

5. Ohio State

6. Tennessee

7. Auburn (on probation)

8. Florida

9. West Virginia

10. Texas A&M

This game was billed as the “Game of the Century”. FSU jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead after a Charlie Ward TD pass but Notre Dame came roaring back and took a 14-7 lead on a Lee Becton TD run.

The Irish would take that lead deep into the fourth as they held a 31-17 advantage with time running out. On 4th and goal Charlie Ward threw a pass over the middle and it was deflected but still caught by his receiver to pull the Noles to within a TD with 2:26 remaining.

Florida State’s onside kick failed but their defense didn’t as the Irish went three and out.  The Irish shanked a punt and the Noles and Ward, this seasons Heisman winner, got the ball back with 51 seconds left with a little over 60 yards to go. After driving down to the 15 yard line, the Noles decided not to spike the ball with 10 seconds left and Ward had a ball batted down at the line of scrimmage.

Three seconds and 15 yards remained for Florida State as Holtz stalked the sidelines. On the final play of the game, Ward was forced out of the pocket and after rolling out to his backside he fired the ball toward the goaline but it was knocked down and the Irish would be the victor in this “Game of the Century”.

While the Irish won the battle, FSU won the war. The Irish would go on to lose to Boston College on a late field goal and Florida State would beat Nebraska in the Orange Bowl for the National Championship.

About Kevin Causey

Dry humorist, craft beer enthusiast, occasionally unbiased SEC fan, UGA alumni, contributor for The Comeback.