1903 Florida State College football team

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1903 Florida State College football
1903 Florida State College football team.jpg
State Champions
1903 Times-Union Cup, T 5–5 vs. Stetson
1903 record3–2–1
Head coachW. W. Hughes
Assistant coachT.M. Shackelford
CaptainEd Watson
Home stadiumLake City State Fair[1]
← 1902
1904 →

The 1903 Florida State College football team represented Florida State College in the sport of American football during the 1903 college football season. The team was led by head coach W.W. Hughes and posted a 3–2–1 record[2] and won the State Championship.[3] With no formal nickname or mascot, the Florida State College football team was known simply as e. g. the "Florida State College Eleven".[4]

Before the season[edit]


The Florida State players wore gold uniforms with a large purple F on the front. 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.[1]

Coaching staff[edit]

The football team chose new officers in May 1903. T.M. Shackelford was elected Manager and Ed Watson Captain; Professor W.W. Hughes remained as coach.[1]


Date Opponent Site Result
October 16, 1903 Bainbridge Giants Tallahassee, FL W 22–0  
October 23, 1903 at Bainbridge Giants Bainbridge, GA W 5–0  
October 31, 1903 East Florida Seminary Tallahassee, FL L 0–16  
November 7, 1903 at Georgia Tech Atlanta, GA L 0–17  
November 13, 1903 University of Florida (Lake City) Tallahassee, FL W 12–0  
November 26, 1903 at Stetson DeLand, FL T 5–5  
*Non-conference game.


Season summary[edit]

Week 1: Bainbridge Giants[edit]

To open the season, Florida State crushed the Bainbridge Giants 22–0.[1]

Week 2: Bainbridge Giants[edit]

1 2Total
Florida State 0 5 5
Bainbridge 0 0 0
  • Date: October 23
  • Location: Bainbridge Fairgrounds, Bainbridge, GA
  • Game start: 2:30 p. m.

The second game against Bainbridge was controversial. Florida State rode the train to Bainbridge, but the Tallahassee sportswriter stayed home, due to the weather. Therefore, the only account of the game was provided by the Bainbridge press.[1]

Neither team scored during the first half, but Florida State “succeeded in pushing the ball over the line” in the second half. During the second half, an “unpleasantness” occurred. According to the Bainbridge account, W.W. Hughes, who was officiating the game, refused to surrender the duty after the first half. Bainbridge protested several of Hughes calls and demanded that he step down. “An unusual amount of wrangling” resulted, and after the game Hughes did not allow his team to attend the prearranged dance.” Florida State left Bainbridge immediately after the game. Florida State had won the game 5–0. Bainbridge citizens were outraged and considered Hughes conduct “not that of a man who was trying to promote good feeling between the two towns.” Hughes considered the Georgians too unpleasant, and Florida State never played Bainbridge again.[1]

Week 3: East Florida Seminary[edit]

The East Florida Seminary team beat FSC 16–0. "The victors had the home team beat at every point. A large crowd witnessed the game."[5][8]

Week 4: Georgia Tech[edit]

Florida State played Georgia Tech at Piedmont Park in Atlanta on November 7, “a sunny and mild autumn day.” Georgia Tech made two touchdowns in the first half after “easy gains.” In the second, Clarke, Georgia Tech’s left tackle, “made one of the prettiest bucks…which had been seen” and scored a third time. By the end of the game, Georgia Tech had defeated Florida State 17–0.[1] Though Florida schools had played each other since 1901, this was the first time one played a Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA) opponent. Fuzzy Woodruff called it the first evidence of intercollegiate football in Florida.[9]

Week 5: Florida[edit]

Florida State College beat the University of Florida (at Lake City) , 12–0. Florida State had planned on playing former Clemson star Jack "Pee Wee" Forsythe at fullback. When UF found out, they threatened to leave. Florida State's Captain, A.B. Clark, said the team wouldn't use Forsythe if Florida did not play its physical education director, J.D. Jeffery. Both Forsyth and Jeffery likely were professionals; certainly, neither was a student. Both teams agreed to the terms, and the game went on as scheduled."[4]

Week 6: Stetson[edit]

Times-Union Cup
1 2Total
Florida State 0 5 5
Stetson 5 0 5

Florida State finished the 1903 season against Stetson in the Florida Times-Union’s Championship Cup. Because both Florida State and Stetson had beaten the University of Florida, the winner of the game would be crowned State Champion.[1]

"It was a clean game and well played by both. Stetson kicked off and in three plays got the ball on downs and held it for a touchdown which was made by a series of line bucks."[10]

"In the second half Stetson kicked off and held Tallahassee well, with varying results, until the last ten minutes when Tallahassee, by a series of line plays, claimed by Stetson to be illegal, using four men massed back of the line, made a touchdown, but failed to kick goal."[5]

The game ended in a 5–5 tie.[1]


The original line-up played the entire game, both offense and defense. Substitutes replaced injured players.[1]


  • LE –
  • LT –
  • LG –
  • C –
  • RG –
  • RT –
  • RE –


  • QB –
  • LH –
  • RH –
  • FB –


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Kabat, Ric (July 1991). Before the Seminoles: Football at Florida State College, 1902-1904. The Florida Historical Quarterly. pp. 20–37. JSTOR 30148092.
  2. ^ "A Brief History of Athletics at Florida State University". FSU. 6 January 2018. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  3. ^ "History". FSU. 6 January 2018. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  4. ^ a b Schmadtke, Alan (27 November 1991). "1902 Forfeit Kicked Off UF-FSU Rivalry". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "Florida State College Football 1902-1904". Nole Fan. 6 January 2018. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  6. ^ http://www.nolefan.org/garnet/seminole54.html
  7. ^ http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1991-10-20/news/9110181090_1_florida-stetson-lacka
  8. ^ The Florida Times-Union, Sunday, November 1, 1903, page 2.
  9. ^ Fuzzy Woodruff (1928). History of Southern Football. 1. p. 149.
  10. ^ The Florida Times-Union, Friday, November 27, 1903, page 6.

External links[edit]