Florida State: 3
Georgia Tech: 17
After falling 13-0 in the 1958 opener at Kentucky, Georgia Tech returned to the Flats for their home opener in a Friday night battle with the Florida State Seminoles. The game would be the first Friday night contest at Grant Field since the Ramblin’ Wreck hosted Georgia Pre-Flight in 1944, a game Tech won 13-7.
The meeting would be the fifth ever between the Jackets and the Seminoles, a series that Tech had dominated to this point, winning the four previous contests by a combined 116-0. The squads last met in 1955 when Tech won 34-0 en route to a 9-1-1 season and a Sugar Bowl victory over the Pittsburgh Panthers.
Florida State took advantage its opening possession, marching to the Yellow Jacket 21 yard line while consuming over five minutes of clock to take a 3-0 lead midway through the first quarter. John Sheppard’s 31 yard field goal accounted for the Seminoles’ first ever points against the Jackets in five meetings.
Tech made sure that the lead did not last when it tied the contest at 3-all on Tommy Wells’s 17 yard field goal on the ensuing possession.
The squads played the remainder of the first half scoreless and remained knotted at three at intermission.
After the break, the Ramblin’ Wreck offense came alive on its first possession of the third quarter. Fred Braselton kick started the drive with consecutive completions to Tommy Rose and Jack Rudolph for 12 and 11 yards, respectively. Frank Nix then gained 11 on two runs and Les Simerville followed with a 7 yard gain to push within the Seminole 15 yard line. Simerville ran for 5 more and Calvin James gained 4 to setup a 6 yard touchdown run by Nix to make it 10-3 in favor of the Jackets.
Florida State nearly answered when it drove deep into Tech territory on the ensuing possession. The Seminole offense advanced as far as the Georgia Tech 4 on a 17 yard hook-and-lateral, but eventually turned the ball over on downs at the 7.
Late in the fourth quarter, Tech gained solid field position at the FSU 41 after forcing a punt from the Seminole 7 yard line. A committee of running backs advanced the Jackets to the 5 before James punched the ball into the end zone for a 17-3 lead that proved to be the final tally.
The Seminoles went on to win five of their next six games before falling to the Florida Gators 21-7 in the regular season finale to finish at 7-3. Nevertheless, the body of work was enough to earn the ‘Noles a trip to the Bluegrass Bowl, where they would eventually fall 15-6 at the hands of the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
FSU – 9
GT – 16
FSU – 72
GT – 192
FSU – 7-16-63
GT – 6-12-56
FSU – 1
GT – 0
FSU – 1
GT – 2
FSU – 30
GT – 25
Bisher, Furman. “Tech Pop Gun Nips F.S.U. Late.” The Atlanta Journal Constitution. 1958 Sep. 27