Saturday at 3:30 on ESPN the Seminoles will be in South Carolina to take on the Clemson Tigers.
Clemson is 4-3 on the season with wins against South Carolina State, Georgia Tech, Boston College and Syracuse and losses versus Georgia, North Carolina State and Pittsburgh.
FSU is 20-13 against Clemson in the all-time series. The two teams were supposed to play last year in Tallahassee, but it was called off due to Clemson trying to travel with a visibly ill coronavirus positive player. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said the game was actually called off because Florida State was scared of getting blown out. It will be interesting to see how Swinney interacts with Mike Norvell before the game. The last time FSU won a game in the series was in 2014 when the ‘Noles defeated the Tigers 20-14 in overtime. The last meeting between the two was in 2019 when Clemson picked apart Florida State 45-14.
Observations from the last game
The Seminoles dominated in every aspect of the game just like it most people were expecting them to.
Massachusetts used all kinds of obscure formations to try to keep the Seminoles off balance. They were able to scheme open a few receivers, but they were on able to hit them.
The offense moved the ball at will behind the three headed rushing monster of Jordan Travis, Jashaun Corbin and Treshaun Ward. Lawrence Toafili and DJ Williams got into the action as well.
Freshman quarterback Chubba Purdy looked very calm and poised in the pocket. His quick release and accuracy helped the offense get into the endzone 3 times.
Florida State offense Clemson defense
This isn’t the Clemson team we’re accustomed to seeing, but the defense is as good as usual. They’re led by linebackers James Skalski (58 tackles) and Baylon Spector (49 tackles). Defensive ends Miles Murphy and Xavier Thomas have decent stats this year however they have the talent to give offensive tackles Darius Washington and Robert Scott some issues.
Florida State defense versus Clemson offense
The biggest challenge for the Clemson will be slowing down ACC defensive player of the year frontrunner Jermaine Johnson. Johnson is tied for first in the ACC (10th in the FBS) with 6.5 sacks. If they can’t contain Johnson it will be another tough day for quarterback DJ Uiagalelei. The Tigers will be without leading rusher Kobe Pace but the backup Will Shipley is very capable of shouldering the load.
Clemson kicker BT Potter has only missed one kick this season, so I have to give the edge to the Tigers here. Tigers punter Will Spiers has had an off year therefore Mastromanno has the advantage.
With Clemson’s struggling quarterbacks and offensive line this should be the closest game between the schools in years. However, the defense is just as good as seasons past and should be enough to push the Tigers over the top. Seminoles 14 Clemson 23.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see FSU pull the upset.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”