Looking back, it might have been the biggest gamble in the history of college football.
And Bobby Bowden calls a legendary fake. The puntrooskie.
Can you imagine the daring? Can you imagine the moxie?
The amazing play started when the center snapped the ball to up-back Dayne Williams. Williams then put the ball between the legs of Leroy Butler, who went around the left end for 78 yards. He was tackled at the one, but the Seminoles won on Richie Andrews’ 19-yard field goal.
“We’re just lucky it worked, but if it hadn’t Clemson could’ve turned around kicked a field goal and beat us,” Bowden said.
Analyst Beano Cook said it was “the best play since My Fair Lady.”
Years later, Bowden said he considered that his favorite of his trick plays.
”It’s got to be first,” Bowden said. ”We’ve had some other successful ones, fake field goals for touchdowns and stuff like that. But that was way above my expectations.
”It had two-thirds of a chance of working, because on a punt (Clemson) did three different things: they tried to block; they tried to return, and the other was just to play safe and be sure that you punt. If they had done that, we would have made nothing. And they put the return on.”
Said Butler: ”I had butterflies as big as pterodactyls.”
Clemson and FSU go after each other again Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee.