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Classic Games in Cyclone Football History: Florida State

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Earle Bruce, in his third year, went down to Tallahassee and came back to Ames with a win.

1975 Florida State Football Handbook

Tallahassee Democrat, September 26, 1975

Iowa State was a six-point favorite coming into September 27th, 1975, date with Florida State.

1975 Florida State vs. Iowa State Game Program

Lineups and Play by Play.

Tallahassee Democrat, September 28, 1975, published the following recap:

Iowa State wins 10-6.

Tribe goes boom, puff, puff, puff, puff.

All dressed up in hopeful clothes following an encouraging first two games, Florida State’s football team went nowhere here Saturday night – and in a most surprising manner.

Iowa State won the game 10-6.

Ready beforehand to let it all hang out, the Seminoles did.

They hung it out with a stunning opening bomb, Clyde Walker to Mike Shumann, for 78 yards and a touchdown that got them a 6-0 lead that stood for a half.

And then they hung it out with an equally stunning mistake – a squib kick that went awry to open the third quarter.

That squib kick – designed to bounce around and hopefully stay away from dangerous runback artist Luther Blue – looked like a deliberate onside attempt, but it wasn’t that.

Iowa State recovered it. Next play Mike Williams skipped 57 yards to a touchdown that put the Big Eight team in front to stay.

It was a sad night for Florida State’s kicking game, terribly suspect in pre-season but surprisingly good in the first two games. Keith Singletary, the freshman from nearby Thomasville who had fared well in those first two, had an extra-point attempt blocked, then missed chip-shot field goals from 24, 20 and again 24 yards out.

But offensive miscues –delay penalties among other things – did the Seminoles in as far as much as anything else.

Florida State’s defenders, also suspect in pre-season, played link gangbusters.

AP Wirephoto

With two running backs gaining more than 100 yards apiece – Williams 129, Jim Wingender 112 – Iowa State rolled up 367 yards on the attack, including 287 on the ground. But, save for Williams’ scoring run, the defense time after time checked the Cyclones, holding after the visitors had gained a first down at the FSU 13, and later after first downs at the FSU 5 and the FSU 3. Moreover, another threat was contained by Bobby Jackson’s interception at the eight.

The Seminoles ran up and down the field – 343 yards of offense with 175 running – to repeated frustration.

AP Wirephoto

Leon Bright failed in his effort to become the first back in FSU history to gain 100 yards in three successive games, ending with 71 on 15 carries. Shumann, with four receptions for 130 yards, was once more a significant offensive factor.

Fumbles figured prominently, as Iowa State lost four, and the Seminoles two. Florida State’s next-to-last offensive effort was stymied at midfield following the lone interception off Walker, who hit on 10 of 19 throws for 168 yards. The Seminoles couldn’t get beyond their 23 on their very last offensive movement.

AP Wirephoto

A crowd of 29,333, including a possible record number of students (about 12,000), whooped in vain on a pleasant, dry evening.

Things grew rather still after Doug Lentz put through a 37-yard field goal to make it 10-6 late in the third quarter. The effort capped an 80-yard drive.

“We certainly had all kinds of chances,” said FSU Coach Darrell Mudra, “I’ve never been around a team which deserved to win more. But our mistakes were too costly.

“We stayed with too basic an offense. We should have taken more chances. We’re going to study the films, and the people who made the mistakes we’re going to replace.

“It was probably a mistake to try for all three of those field goals. Maybe we should have gone for the score on the first one.

“Our kicking was the poorest part of the game. Iowa State played about like we thought they would. We figured them to make some mistakes, and they did. We just didn’t take advantage of them.”

Earle Bruce, the Iowa State coach, was exuberant.

“When you give up a touchdown on the first play of the game,” he said, “and come back to win … that’s effort. We’re going to come together now.

“The Seminoles can play football. Bright and Key (Larry) are superb running backs. The Seminoles move the football; they’re clever. They adjusted to our defense well.”

Winning its second straight, Iowa State checked out of Campbell Stadium with a 2-1 record. Florida State is 1-2 with road games ahead at Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Florida.