1904 Florida State College football team

The 1904 Florida State College football team represented Florida State College (FSC) in the sport of American football during the 1904 college football season. The team, led by head coach Jack Forsythe, posted a 2–3 record[1] and won the State Championship with victories over Stetson and the University of Florida at Lake City[2][3] With no formal nickname or mascot, the Florida State College football team was known simply as the "Florida State College Eleven".

1904 Florida State College football
1904 Florida State College football team.jpg
State champion
Head coach
CaptainDan Williams
← 1903
1947 →
1904 Southern college football independents records
Conf Overall
Team W   L   T W   L   T
Georgetown     7 1 0
Southwest Texas State     5 1 0
Southwestern Louisiana Industrial     2 0 1
Davidson     6 1 1
Navy     7 2 1
North Carolina     5 2 2
Virginia     6 3 0
North Carolina A&M     3 1 2
West Virginia     6 3 0
VPI     5 3 0
George Washington     4 2 2
Arkansas     4 3 0
Oklahoma     4 3 1
South Carolina     4 3 1
Stetson     2 2 0
Central Oklahoma     2 3 0
VMI     3 5 0
Kentucky University     3 4 0
Grant     2 3 0
Florida State College     2 3 0
Maryland     2 4 2
East Florida Seminary     1 2 0
Goldey College     1 2 0
Tennessee Docs     2 4 0
Baylor     2 5 1
Louisiana Industrial     1 3 0
TCU     1 4 1
Delaware     1 5 1
Kendall     0 2 1
Rollins     0 1 0
Tusculum     0 2 0
Florida at Lake City     0 5 0
Oklahoma A&M     0 6 0

This would be the last football squad fielded by Florida State College, which was converted into the Florida State College for Women when the state's system of higher education was reorganized by the Buckman Act. Jack Forsythe became the first football coach for the new University of the State of Florida when it opened in Gainesville in 1906. After World War 2, Florida State College became the co-educational Florida State University, which traces the roots of its football program back to the teams of Florida State College.[4]

Before the seasonEdit


The Florida State College Eleven wore gold uniforms with a large purple F on the front. As with most college teams of the period, their pants were lightly padded, but their upper bodies were largely unprotected. Leather helmets with ear guards covered their heads, and shoehorn-shaped metal nose guards were strapped across their faces.[5]

Coaching staffEdit

During the summer, W. W. Hughes turned over coaching duties to Jack Forsythe, who had played at Clemson the previous season and had never served as a head coach. Why Hughes surrendered his position is unclear, but that autumn his salary was increased, signifying that his academic duties increased.[5] Jock Hanvey, who had been Forsyth's teammate at Clemson, served as an assistant coach.[6] The team's captain was Dan Williams.[7]


October 8at Georgia TechL 0–35
October 21University of Florida at Lake CityLake City, FLW 23–0
October 29at Savannah A. A.Savannah, GAL 0–6
November 5at Jacksonville ConsolidatedJacksonville, FLL 0–6
November 24StetsonTallahassee, FLW 18–6


Season summaryEdit

Week 1: Georgia TechEdit

The season opened with a 35–0 defeat at the hands of coach John Heisman's Georgia Tech team.[9] At the start of the contest, Georgia Tech tried line bucking to no avail. Then a run off tackle by Tech's fullback Clarke went 70 yards for a touchdown.[10] Lob Brown and Davies played well.[11]

The starting lineup for Florida State was: Johnston (left end), Liddell (left tackle), Mullin (left guard), Williams (center), Buckholz (right guard), McCord (right tackle), Pulliston (right end), Murray (quarterback), Watson (left halfback), Wells (right halfback), and Walther (fullback).[11]

Week 2: FloridaEdit

Florida State College's 23–0 victory over the Blue and White of the University of Florida at Lake City was its third shutout in a row over their in-state rivals. Fans in Lake City were bitterly disappointed, and a local newspaper urged that "the university team should be made stronger before it attempts to play again.[12] Florida State scored a touchdown in a "hotly contested" first half, and three more in the second half.[13] Time of game: First half, 25 minutes; second half, 20 minutes.[9]

Week 3: Savannah Athletic AssociationEdit

The Savannah Athletic Association, "always considered one of the strongest in the South",[14] was larger and more experienced than Florida State team, but their 6–0 victory "was hard won".[5]

Week 4: Jacksonville ConsolidatedEdit

The first half was played without either team scoring. Florida State started the game with a fumble by Liddell on kickoff and was held where he caught it. Florida State was driving towards Jacksonville's goal, when Jacksonville recovered the ball on a Florida State fumble. Florida State got the ball back, thanks to a fumble by Yancey. On the thirty-yard line, Jacksonville's Jones tackled a Florida State player and forced a fumble, which Florida State lost. After Jacksonville gained yardage, an effort to send the ball around the left end of Florida State resulted in a loss of ten yards. Yancey again lost several yards, but by a technicality kept possession of the ball instead of a turnover on downs. Yancey, Jones and Kennedy then commenced a rapid advance of the ball by a series of fierce bucks. The first half ended with the ball in Jacksonville's territory.[15]

In the second half, there was a decided improvement by Jacksonville and an apparently falling off in the defensive work of Florida State. Jacksonville was getting into weak points of Florida State and managed to advance a little more rapidly.[15]

Jones was standing on Jacksonville's fifteen-yard line when Florida State kicked off and he caught the ball. A dash through center for a fake run was followed by a sudden dart through right tackle, catching the opposing team almost unaware. Good interference from Curran and others, and a clever direction of his route by Kennedy assisted Jones in making the touchdown. Jones caught the ball fair, and his run was "as fleet as that of a deer". When he started out, Florida State expected him to break through center, as he was making rapid strides in that direction, Florida State bunched for the center and left the ends practically unprotected. Once around the center of the Florida State line and between tackle and right end, Jones had almost clear sailing. There were but two efforts to tackle him but they were successfully met. Jones jumped one of the tackles and Curran guarded him against the second. The Florida State and Jacksonville players raced with Jones for the goal, but were unable to catch him. "Those who had been waving aloft the Jacksonville colors went wild with enthusiasm, and there was a din which lasted until Yancey had succeeded in kicking the goal."[15]

After the touchdown by Jones, the ball was returned to the center and Jacksonville kicked off to Florida State. The ball was caught by Puleston, who carried it from the 16-yard line to the 30-yard line. Florida State again made attacked Jacksonville's defensive line, gaining fifteen yards when again Florida State lost the ball on a fumble.[15] Jacksonville had possession and moved down the field. Florida State's defense was able to hold Jacksonville back, though they were unable to get the ball on downs. There were a number of controversial calls in this part of the game, as to whether the line of scrimmage had been properly marked, but Jacksonville managed to retain the ball until within twenty yards of the goal line, when it was fumbled. Florida State recovered the ball, but lost it on downs before gaining much yardage. There were then three minutes on the play clock, and the Jacksonville made a vigorous effort to score, failing to do so in only about four yards.

"It was a great game, and the best that has been seen in Jacksonville for several years. The Tallahassee team is a strong one, and has been well coached and thoroughly seasoned by the contests with other colleges."[9]

Week 5: StetsonEdit

Twelve minutes into the game, Stetson "crossed Florida State's goal," making the score 6–0. Then Florida State "seemed to wake up." Vincent Green, a substitute at left end, scored Florida State's first touchdown "by a magnificent buck." Later, Florida State's right end, J.K. Johnston, ran forty-five yards to make the score 12–6. Shortly before halftime, Guyte McCord scored Florida State's third touchdown.[5]

In the second half "neither side succeeded in scoring," and Florida State won 18–6. The victory made Florida State "State Champions" for the 1904 season. Captain Dan Williams was "borne off the field in triumph by his comrades."[5]

End of the programEdit

In 1905, Florida's state legislature passed the Buckman Act, which completely reorganized the state's system of higher education and consolidated most state colleges and universities into a few new institutions. Florida State College ceased to exist, and its Tallahassee campus became home to the new Florida Female College (later changed to the Florida State College for Women), ending the football program. After a year of transition, the new "University of the State of Florida" opened in Gainesville in 1906, and Jack Forsythe, FSC's last head coach, was hired as UF's first head coach.


The original lineup played the entire game, both offense and defense. Substitutes replaced injured players.[5]


  • LE - J.K. Johnston
  • LT – Liddell
  • LG – David Munro Cook
  • C – Dan Williams
  • RG – Buchholz
  • RT – Guyte McCord
  • RE - Puleston


  • QB – Murray
  • LH - Forsyth
  • RH - Watson
  • FB – Whitner


  1. ^ "A Brief History of Athletics at Florida State University". FSU. 6 January 2018. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  2. ^ "History". FSU. 6 January 2018. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Florida State College (1901-1905) - Florida State University History - Research Guides at The Florida State University". Archived from the original on 2015-12-27.
  4. ^ Schmadtke, Alan (27 November 1991). "1902 Forfeit Kicked Off UF-FSU Rivalry". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Kabat, Ric (July 1991). "Before the Seminoles: Football at Florida State College, 1902-1904". The Florida Historical Quarterly. The Florida Historical Quarterly. 70 (1): 20–37. JSTOR 30148092.
  6. ^ "Strong Teams In the South". Atlanta Constitution. November 2, 1904. p. 9. Retrieved September 21, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  
  7. ^ "Tech; FSU first played in '03". The Florida Flambeau. November 18, 1952.
  8. ^ "FSU Football - Pre 1947".
  9. ^ a b c "Florida State College Football 1902-1904". Nole Fan. 6 January 2018. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  10. ^ Fuzzy Woodruff (1928). History of Southern Football. Vol. 1. p. 161.
  11. ^ a b Fuzzy Woodruff (1928). History of Southern Football. Vol. 1. p. 162.
  12. ^ "Barnes, Charley (January 3, 2017). The Bowden Dynasty: A Story of Faith, Family, and Football - An Insider's Account. BroadStreet Publishing Group LLC. pp. 20–37. ISBN 978-1-4245-5435-5.
  13. ^ The Florida Times-Union, Sunday, October 23, 1904, page 14.
  14. ^ The Atlanta Constitution, Wednesday, November 2, 1904, page 9.
  15. ^ a b c d The Florida Times-Union, Sunday, November 6, 1904, page 7.