Hype was minimal and the season didn’t end with a bowl victory, but on November 25th, 1950, Florida State defeated the University of Tampa 35-19 at Doak Campbell Stadium to complete its first ever perfect season.
With the game tied 13-13 after three quarters, the FSU offense exploded over the final 15 minutes. Nelson Italiano’s second touchdown pass of the day to Harry Bringger from 34 yards out put the Seminoles ahead for good, 20-13. Italiano added a 27-yard rushing touchdown and Wayne Benner returned a blocked punt 11 yards to put the game out of reach.
The 19 points for Tampa would be the most points FSU would allow in any game during the 1950 season. The Seminoles shut out both Newberry College and Mississippi College and never allowed any other opponent to score more than eight points. FSU went 4-0 in conference play to win the Dixie Conference title.
FSU came up with 10 interceptions in eight games, led by Ted Hewitt with three. Bill Dawkins played both sides of the ball and was a future All-American.
Offensively, Italiano and fullback Mike Sellers combined for more than 1,000 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns that season. Italiano also passed for eight touchdowns on just 16 completions. Each of Bringger’s five catches that season went for scores.
Though Florida State didn’t finish ranked in 1950, the Seminoles managed to complete their first perfect season. That’s something FSU wouldn’t duplicate for 49 years.
Featured image courtesy of Nolefan.org