Florida State Football: Ranking the Comeback Wins of 2014

Bob Ferrante@@bobferranteContributor INovember 19, 2014

Jameis Winston has helped FSU author comebacks over N.C. State, Notre Dame, Louisville and Miami in 2014.
Jameis Winston has helped FSU author comebacks over N.C. State, Notre Dame, Louisville and Miami in 2014.USA TODAY Sports

Call them the Cardiac Kids. Or the Comeback Kids. 

The Florida State football team has played 10 games and won them all, the last of the teams from the power-five conferences to remain unbeaten. And with just two regular-season games left, the Seminoles have home games with Boston College (6-4) and Florida (5-4).

Both opponents are unranked, and neither game should provide a significant challenge. The Eagles are bowl-eligible; the Gators could be with a win over Eastern Kentucky on Saturday.

The Seminoles could finally get a breather (maybe?) in a season of digging first-half deficits and then clawing their way out in the second half. FSU has trailed in the second half against Clemson, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Louisville and Miami. And FSU has come back each time.

Of the comeback wins, which one is the best? Let's take a look at all five and rank them:

5. Clemson

Deficit: 17-10

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Final score: 23-17 (OT)

Analysis: This was viewed as a tricky game. Jameis Winston would be suspended a half. Then, late on Friday night before the game, FSU announced Winston's suspension would be for a full game. So FSU would throw Sean Maguire into the fire for 60 minutes. And Clemson would likely use dropback quarterback Cole Stoudt as well as mobile Deshaun Watson. 

FSU couldn't have started the game worse and managed just a field goal in the first half. But even with two Maguire interceptions, FSU's defense forced a late turnover and had a fourth-down stop in overtime. Karlos Williams ended the game with a 12-yard touchdown.

Comeback king: Eddie Goldman forced a fourth-quarter fumble that led to Rashad Greene's 74-yard catch-and-run for a TD that tied the game. And Goldman had the fourth-down stop in overtime.

4. NC State

Deficit: 24-7

Final score: 56-41

Analysis: It looked like FSU would lose while trailing 24-7 after 15 minutes. The defense was being shredded by Wolfpack quarterback Jacoby Brissett. No FSU defense had ever allowed 24 points in the first quarter.

This comeback was a good one, but it doesn't stack up to the others. FSU pulled within 24-21 with 11:58 to the half, and the Seminoles went ahead for good in the third quarter. The Wolfpack simply ran out of gas.

Comeback king: Jameis Winston threw for 365 yards and four touchdowns.

3. Notre Dame

FSU players celebrate the win over Notre Dame.
FSU players celebrate the win over Notre Dame.USA TODAY Sports

Deficit: ND went ahead 14-7, 17-10 and 24-17

Final score: 31-27

Analysis: Every time Notre Dame punched, FSU punched back. Everett Golson passed for 313 yards, and the Fighting Irish running game racked up 157 yards. The Seminoles struggled to move the ball on offense in the first half.

FSU finally went ahead 31-27 on a Williams TD run with 7:39 left in the fourth quarter. Notre Dame drove the field in the final minutes, but a would-be touchdown was erased when a Notre Dame receiver was called for an illegal pick. On fourth down, FSU's Jacob Pugh intercepted Golson.

Comeback king: Winston was 23-of-31 for 273 yards, helping drive FSU down the field for three second-half touchdown drives.

2. Louisville

Dalvin Cook had two second-half TD runs in the win over Louisville.
Dalvin Cook had two second-half TD runs in the win over Louisville.USA TODAY Sports

Deficit: 21-0

Final score: 42-31

Analysis: This was a comeback for the ages and under normal circumstances would take the grand prize. FSU was flat on offense in the first half, managing just a touchdown in the moments before halftime when tight end Nick O'Leary fell on a fumble in the end zone. The defense allowed three touchdown drives early, and Louisville had a 21-7 halftime lead.

Winston tossed three interceptions in the game but still helped FSU win with five touchdown drives in the second half, including four of them by true freshmen. He finished with 401 passing yards.

Comeback king: True freshman Dalvin Cook had two touchdown runs (40 and 38) in the second half and caught four passes for 40 yards.

1. Miami

FSU corner Jalen Ramsey knocks the ball lose from Miami tight end Clive Walford.
FSU corner Jalen Ramsey knocks the ball lose from Miami tight end Clive Walford.USA TODAY Sports

Deficit: 16-0

Final score: 30-26

Analysis: FSU's defense wasn't able to keep up as Phillip Dorsett caught a 27-yard TD pass and Clive Walford added a 61-yard TD pass in the first half. The Hurricanes looked primed for the upset by going in front 16-0 and held a 23-10 lead at the half.

But the Seminoles looked like a completely different defense in the second half. FSU allowed just a field goal, and the Seminoles scored 20 points on their final four drives of the game.

Comeback king: FSU corner Jalen Ramsey had a game-clinching interception to seal the win. He also forced a fumble in the first quarter and blocked an extra-point attempt.

Bob Ferrante is the lead FSU writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats courtesy of Seminoles.com. Follow Bob on Twitter.