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    Wednesday, November 22, 2006

    FSU-Florida: 1977

    December 3, 1977 - Florida State ended a nine year drought in convincing style when it dumped arch-rival Florida, 37-9, before 63,563 in Gainesville, the largest crowd to watch the Seminoles during the '77 season.

    The victory capped a brilliant regular season for the Garnet and Gold. It was the ninth victory in 11 starts, the first time in Seminole history the school had recorded nine wins during the regular season. And, the win also returned FSU football to respectability throughout the south since head coach Bobby Bowden had said more than once that the program "would not be turned around until we beat Florida."

    Thus the victory - only the third in the 20 year series for the Seminoles - was more important than any other win in recent memory for Seminole coaches and boosters.
    The Seminoles led from the start in this one. After Florida failed to move the sticks following the opening kickoff, the Seminoles went 72 yards in six plays for their first TD. The six points belonged to sophomore Kurt Unglaub, who caught a 35 yard Wally Woodham pass. Dave Cappelen booted the PAT.

    And, that opening Seminole drive demonstrated what the Seminoles were going to do the entire afternoon - PASS. First it was Woodham, who quarterbacked the first quarter and the opening series of the second. He completed six of 10 passes for 86 yards and a TD.

    Then came Jimmy Jordan, who head coach Bobby Bowden later described as "my fast ball pitcher." Pitch is exactly what Jordan did with the pigskin. Guiding the Seminoles for all but two series during the rest of the game, Jordan completed 13 of 19 for 240 yards and three touchdowns. That effort earned him "Offensive Player of the Game" honors from the ABC-TV broadcasting team sending the game throughout the south on a regional basis.

    Jordan wasn't the only star, however. Also drawing his share of recognition was Roger Overby, who caught three TD passes during the afternoon. Overall, he had six grabs for 124 yards. Senior Mike Shumann was on the receiving end of five passes for 111 yards while Unglaub grabbed four for 78. The Unglaub total was just one short of his season total entering the game.

    Also in the spotlight was runningback Larry Key, who rushed for 143 yards to become the first player in Seminole history to ever gain 1,000 yards rushing in a season.

    Nobody could forget the defense either. Florida State limited the Gators to a mere 200 yards total offense and the hosts didn't score a touchdown for the first time in a regular season game since 1973. The defense was spearheaded by Willie Jones, a junior defensive end, who earned "Defensive Player of the Game" honors.

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