Notre Dame football: Looking back at the ‘Game of the Century’

Notre Dame football (Photo by Bernstein Associates/Getty Images)
Notre Dame football (Photo by Bernstein Associates/Getty Images) /

The Notre Dame football program has a long history with Florida State, and we take a trip back to 1993, and the ‘Game of the Century.’

With the passing of legendary Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden, we got to thinking about a past match-up between his Seminoles and the Notre Dame football program. That match-up came back in 1993, in a battle that was dubbed the ‘Game of the Century,’ and it certainly lived up to its billing.

The Seminoles came into Notre Dame Stadium riding a 16-game winning streak and were the No. 1 team in the country, led by Heisman winner Charlie Ward at quarterback. The Irish were the No. 2 ranked team in the land, and all signs pointed to them getting to a national title game if they could take out the Seminoles.

For the better part of the game, the Irish were the better team on both sides of the ball, getting out to a 21-7 halftime lead, and still had a two-touchdown lead going into the fourth quarter. That is where the fireworks started, as Ward nearly orchestrated one of the bigger comebacks in the history of this rivalry.

Notre Dame football beats Florida State

A fourth-and-20 pass would bounce off the hands of Brian McGee and into the hands of Kez McCorvey, pulling Florida State within seven. The Irish offense would sputter after the touchdown, giving Ward another chance to tie the game up, and the star signal-caller nearly did just that, driving into the red zone.

Fortunately for the Irish, they were able to hang on for the 31-24 victory, and would then ascend to the No. 1 spot in the country. It was also the first time that the Irish were able to beat Bobby Bowden’s Florida State squad, as they lost to them two years earlier at home.

Notre Dame football would end up beating a Florida State team led by the legendary head coach only twice in six attempts, a testament to how dominant the Seminoles were in his prime. The 1993 team would lose to Boston College the following week, ending their chances at a national title, but this matchup against Florida State certainly will forever be immortalized.

We here at SlaptheSign want to send our condolences to the Bowden family. Rest in Peace, Coach.