Florida State was about as impressive as a team could be through the first nine games of the 1993 season.
The Seminoles overwhelmed their opponents — three of whom would end up ranked at season’s end — by a combined score of 399 to 58. That’s an average score of 44-6.
The leader of that team was senior quarterback Charlie Ward. This week in Heisman history — 25 years ago — he helped No. 1 Florida State notch its seventh-straight victory to open the season by throwing for 322 yards and three touchdowns (with one more rushing TD) in a 40-14 romp over 15th-ranked Virginia.
Among the highlights: An 86-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and an 18-yard scoring run near the end of the first half where he hurdled two defenders to make the score 30-0 going into the break.
“That was vintage Ward,” Virginia defensive tackle Ryan Kuehl told the Washington Post afterward. “He’s not a Heisman candidate for nothing. He made us look stupid. He made us look like we were on a fourth-grade field.”
It was arguably Ward’s finest game in what turned out to be a remarkable Heisman season. Though he left the game with 10 minutes to play, he completed 23 of 31 passes againt the Cavaliers (a 74.1 percent rate), averaged 10.38 yards per attempt and rushed for 38 yards on just five carries. His passer rating was a sterling 193.38. Overall, he averaged a season-high 10 yards per play.
When the regular season was complete, Ward had 3,032 passing yards, 27 touchdown passes, just four interceptions and another 339 rushing yards with four scores on the ground. Not surprisingly, Ward’s margin of victory in the Heisman vote was a massive 1,622 points, second at the time only to O.J. Simpson’s 1,750 point win in 1968.
Here’s the video of Ward leading FSU over Virginia: