In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com
The 29-game winning streak of Florida State in conference play comes to an end as they are stunned by Virginia 33-28 in Charlottesville. The Seminoles entered the game ranked second. They were 19-point favorites as the #24th ranked Cavaliers. Since joining the ACC in 1992, Florida State was a perfect 29-0 heading into the game. The game came down to the final seconds when Warrick Dunn was stuffed at the goal line trying to score a game-winning touchdown.
Under coach Bobby Bowden, Florida State rose to national prominence in the 1980s. They closed the decade with four straight seasons ranked in the Top Five at the end of the season. That success continued into the 90s, with consecutive #4 rankings. This helped earn the school that had been an independent for 40 years and invited to join the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1992. Upon joining the ACC, the Seminoles dominated, winning all ACC games in their first three seasons, this included the 1993 season, in which they won their first National Championship.
George Welch was in his 14th season at Virginia, having moderate success. Virginia entered the game against the Seminoles ranked #24 with a record of 6-3, with a 4-1 record in ACC games. The Seminoles were ranked #2 with a record of 7-0, with five wins in conference play.
The Seminoles got the lead early as Danny Kanell connected with Philip Riley on a 35-yard touchdown pass. However, Virginia showed that they would be in the fight when Tiki Barber tied the game with a 64-yard touchdown run. Florida State ended the first quarter with a 14-7 lead as Kanell connected with Warrick Dunn for a 14-yard touchdown to cap a 94-yard drive.
In the second quarter, the game began to swing in Virginia’s favor after tying the game one-yard pass from Mike Groh to Tiki Barber. James Farrior blocked a punt to set up a Raphael Garcia that gave the Hoos a 17-14. The Seminoles appeared on the verge of regaining the lead when Percy Ellsworth picked off Kanell at the two. Later in the quarter, Warrick Dunn was thrown for a loss on a fourth-down trick play. Virginia meanwhile stretched the lead to 24-14 as Groh connected with Demetrius Allen on a 72-yard touchdown score. Florida State got a touchdown from Danny Kanell to E.G. Green as Virginia added a second field goal to take a 27-21 lead at the half.
The Virginia defense kept the Florida State off the scoreboard in the third quarter as Ellsworth added a second interception. Virginia held a 33-21 lead in the fourth quarter as Raphael Garcia had a pair of second-half field goals. Warrick Dunn got the Seminoles back in the game with a seven-yard touchdown run with 6:33 left. With time winding down, the Noles had the ball deep in Virginia territory. Looking to win the game, Dunn took a direct snap by was stopped one-yard shorth as the Cavaliers held on to win the game 33-28.
Florida State and Virginia shared the 1995 ACC Championship, each finishing 7-1in conference play. Florida State finished 10-2 overall, ranked fifth after beating Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl. Virginia meanwhile finished 9-4, ending the year ranked #18, winning the Peach Bowl against Georgia. Florida State lost just two games in the conference in their fifth nine seasons in the ACC, winning at least a share of the conference championship each season.