Fresh off a national championship, and with Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston returning, all eyes were on the Florida State Seminoles to start the 2014 college football season. They were ranked No. 1 in the country and looked poised to repeat early. However, some luck and heroics were needed to keep that dream alive.
Wins over Oklahoma State and The Citadel proved FSU was ready to stay at the top of the mountain. The Seminoles, under head coach Jimbo Fisher, boasted talent all over the field. An unexpected hiccup for the third game almost cost them another undefeated season, though.
With the Clemson Tigers coming to Doak Campbell Stadium and ESPN’s College GameDay in Tallahassee, FSU had to win the rivalry showdown without Winston, who was suspended for the game. Thankfully, running back Karlos Williams was there to save the day.
Karlos Williams’ Walk-Off Touchdown vs. Clemson
Leading up to the ACC football game, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was suspended for making “offensive and vulgar” comments on campus. It was originally supposed to be for one half, but FSU interim President Garnett S. Stokes and athletic director Stan Wilcox changed it to a full game.
That meant quarterback Sean Maguire had to answer the call and play the entire game. It wasn’t perfect, but it eventually worked.
Maguire threw for over 300 yards with a long touchdown pass to wide receiver Rashad Greene in the fourth quarter to tie the game despite tossing two interceptions. FSU also got a touchdown from running back Mario Pender and a 50-yard field goal from Robert Aguayo.
That was enough to force overtime against Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and quarterback Deshaun Watson.
After Clemson, which had missed a pair of field goals earlier in the game, was stuffed on fourth down, FSU took over. And two plays later, running back Karlos Williams busted it outside for a 12-yard touchdown.
Game over. The Seminoles won their 19th-straight game, which remains the school record.
The rest is history. Florida State went undefeated the rest of the way, including wins over Notre Dame, at Louisville and Miami, and against Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship Game. The Seminoles lost in the College Football Playoff semifinal to Oregon.
Although their season didn’t end with another NCAA national title in the CFP, that matchup and night against Clemson is a game many FSU fans won’t ever forget.
This article was originally published July 7, 2020.