Clemson Tigers at Florida State Seminoles: 5 Things to Watch For
Clemson will face one of its most difficult tests this season as the fourth-ranked Tigers HTML3_ heads to Tallahassee to take on the Seminoles in a primetime matchup.
This will be the first time since 2018 that the two teams will face off in Doak Campbell Stadium. Clemson (6-0) has won six straight against Florida State (4-2 and 2-2), and with wins over Wake Forest, NC State and NC State, the Tigers now have the chance to control the Atlantic Division.
5 Things to Watch
1. Clemson finally healthy along the DL: The Tigers will have all its highly-touted defensive line available for the first time in the season. And it’s at the right time. For just the seventh time in the past 31 games, the Tigers will have Bryan Bresee, Tyler Davis and Xavier Thomas all available. Clemson is now 6-0 in those games. Despite the injury issues up front, the Tigers have still been stout against the run, allowing just 63 yards per game.
2. Jordan Travis: Florida State’s starting quarterback can beat you with his arms or his legs. Clemson will need to repeat the performance of last week, when the front four made Phil Jurkovec’s life difficult. Travis cannot be allowed to become comfortable in the pocket. However, he can’t be allowed to make plays outside the pocket. It will be crucial to set the edge and not allow Travis to run through any running lanes. If the Tigers can get pressure without having to blitz, it might be a long night for the home team.
3. Can Clemson Secondary Hold Up: After getting torched by Sam Hartman in Winston-Salem, the backend of the Tigers’ defense has played pretty well. This group of wideouts will be the best Clemson has seen in a while, since the shootout win over Wake Forest. Johnny Wilson, Ontraria Wilson, and Mycah Pittman can all stretch the defense. The Tigers’ secondary must keep the explosive plays to a minimum.
4. Will Shipley and Phil Mafah: NC State dominated the line of scrimmage against Florida State last week. The Seminoles have not been great at stopping the run and are allowing more than 150 yards per game. Florida State is a mess along the defensive line. Clemson must get their ground game moving if they want to win. Half of NC State’s runs last week were for five yards or more, compared to the FSU defense. The Tigers’ offensive line is improving with each week. This week might be the right week for them to make a bold statement.
5. WRU and DJU vs FSU Pass Defense Seminoles are very careful about giving up yards through air. Teams are averaging just 170 yards per game. The secondary at Florida State is not only highly skilled, but also has a lot of experience. While Clemson QB DJ Uiagalelei has been fairly consistent all season, the same can’t be said for the wideouts. Even though critical drops have improved in the latter part of the season, they are still a problem at times. Uiagalelei needs more help than he received in the first half against Boston College.
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Clemson at Florida State: Live Updates
Live updates between No. 4 Clemson and Florida State with a spread that has been all over the place this week, plus the best bet in this ACC Atlantic showdown at 7: 30 p.m.
The line dropped from Tigers -7.5 to -3.5, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
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The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.