Flashback to 1995: Tiki Barber
One of the most notable wins in Virginia football history took place on Nov. 2, 1995. On that Thursday night, the Cavaliers defeated Florida State, 33-28, to give the Seminoles their first ACC loss since joining the conference in 1992. As the current Virginia squad prepares to host Florida State at Scott Stadium on Saturday, we'll take a look back at that memorable '95 game through the perspectives of some of the team members who participated in it.
Tailback Tiki Barber's night did not get off to the greatest start. He fumbled on Virginia's first offensive possession and then watched from the sideline as Florida State scored five plays later on a 35-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Danny Kanell to Phillip Riley. But after that, Barber and the Cavaliers picked up steam. Barber scored off an option pitch for a 64-yard touchdown run on Virginia's next drive. He would finish the game with 193 rushing yards on 31 carries. Barber also tallied three receptions for 45 yards and another touchdown.
"Everybody knew that they were the quote 'invincible force' that had just joined the ACC and that it was a lost cause," Barber said of the team's mind-set entering the game. "But everything kind of fell into line for us. We fumbled on our first series, and Florida State went right down and scored. The sense, I think, for the people who weren't involved was like, 'Alright, here we go again. It's going to be a blowout from here on out.' But we had put a lot of preparation into our game planning, and Mike Groh, who was our quarterback at the time, was super-prepared.
"We got an opportunity on our next series and we checked into an option. He pitched it to me, and I went for a 60-something-yard touchdown, which kind of gave us that, 'Oh, okay, we can make big plays on these guys. We can win this game if we don't make any more mistakes.' And we didn't.
"We had a great defensive performance, and most importantly our punter, Will Brice, kept them backed up inside their 10-, 15-yard line for most of the game, so they had 85 yards to go each time they got the ball.
"We were just aggressive from the very beginning. We kept our foot down and never let them get comfortable. We never let ourselves get comfortable, and it became a mano-a-mano type situation. We're going to give you our best shot, and we're going to take your best shot. There was a lot of offense, a lot of points scored, but we never backed down."
Indeed, Virginia and Florida State compiled a combined 718 yards in the first half, and the Cavaliers entered halftime with a 27-21 lead. They would extend their lead to as many as 12 in the second half before having to fend off a Seminoles rally.
| September 28, 2010; 1:28 PM ET
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