1. Archive

Bowden's Barnyard Plays

Here is a sampling of some of the offensive wizardry of coach Bobby Bowden.

Sept. 17, 1988: at Clemson

With the scored tied at 21 and just 1:30 left, the Seminoles face a fourth and 4 from their 21, setting the stage for the quintessential Bobby Bowden trickery or "Barnyard Play," as he calls them. Faking a punt, FSU snaps the ball to up-back Dayne Williams, who surreptitiously places it in LeRoy Butler's hands. Instead of counting, "One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi," before taking off, Butler leaves after "One Mississippi." Yet Clemson is so fooled Butler races 78 yards down the sideline before Donnell Woolford pushes him out at the 1. The "Puntrooskie" leaves FSU with an easy FG for a 24-21 win.

Oct. 20, 1990: at Auburn

The Seminoles, up 17-10 late in the fourth quarter, look to seal the win by trying the "Fumblerooskie." QB Casey Weldon leaves the ball behind C Robbie Baker so that G Hayward Haynes can scoop it up. But Auburn NG Walter Tate sees the ball (or, as the Seminoles insist later, is just too tired to follow the deception) and dives on it to give the Tigers the ball at their 43. They drive for the tying TD and win 20-17 on a FG in the waning seconds.

Sept. 21, 1991: at Michigan

With the score tied at 7, Bowden actually goes to a play he borrowed from Florida coach Steve Spurrier. He sends backup QB Charlie Ward in as a WR and, after taking a lateral from Weldon, Ward throws back across the field to Weldon. The QB goes 29 yards to the Michigan 11. The drive stalls and FSU seems forced to settle for a FG, but Bowden pulls out another trick play. Holder Brad Johnson flips the ball to FB William Floyd for a 4-yard TD. FSU wins 51-31.

Jan. 2, 1995: Sugar Bowl vs. Florida

With the score tied at 3 at the start of the second quarter, FSU QB Danny Kanell laterals to TB Warrick Dunn, who throws a pass downfield for WR 'OMar Ellison. The ball is tipped by UF DB Michael Gilmore, but Ellison makes the catch and outruns the Gators for a 73-yard TD. FSU goes on to win 23-17 in a rematch that was billed as the "Fifth Quarter in the French Quarter." In the regular-season finale, FSU had rallied from a 31-3 deficit in the fourth quarter to tie the Gators 31-31.

Nov. 21, 1998: vs. Florida

Clinging to a 13-12 lead early in the fourth quarter, the Seminoles see a 48-yard TD run by Travis Minor nullified on a holding call against WR Peter Warrick. But on the next play, Warrick takes a reverse from TB Jeff Chaney, races right to sell the run, stops and lofts a pass to an open Ron Dugans for a 46-yard TD. The Seminoles win 23-12 and then, after UCLA and Kansas State are upset two weeks later, find themselves in the Fiesta Bowl with a shot at the national title.