TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — It’s Game Day in Doak Campbell where No. 3 Clemson battles No. 14 Florida State in an Atlantic division showdown as the Tigers look to stay undefeated.
Location: Doak Campbell Stadium
Kickoff: 8:22 p.m.
Announcers: Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Samantha Ponder
2016 Record: Clemson 7-0, Florida State 5-2
ACC Record: Clemson 4-0, Florida State 2-2
Series History: Florida State leads 20-9
Last Meeting: Clemson won 23-13 in 2015 at Death Valley
Clemson vs. Florida State Series Florida State has a 20-9 advantage in the series with Clemson that dates to 1970, a 38-13 Florida State win in Tallahassee. While Florida State has the decisive all-time lead in the series, Clemson has a 7-6 advantage over the last 13 games. Clemson had a five-game winning streak in the series at home prior to 2013 when Florida State won, 51-14. The home team has won 12 of the last 14 games. Each team has just one victory on the opponent’s home field since 2003, Clemson in 2006 and Florida State in 2013.
•Clemson has won just once in Tallahassee since the Seminoles joined the ACC for the 1992 season. That came in 2006 when the Tigers were victorious 27-20 on a one-yard run by James Davis with just eight seconds left.
•Each of the last seven years the winner of the Clemson vs. Florida State game has gone on to win the Atlantic Division Championship. Each of the last five years the winner of this game has won the ACC Championship. Clemson won last year at Clemson 23-13 and went on to win the ACC title.
Tigers Receiving Midseason Acclaim
Five Clemson players were named to various midseason All-America teams and award lists the week of October 17 according to media outlets. They have all helped the 7-0 Tigers to a No. 3 national ranking according to the Amway Coaches Poll and a No. 4 rating by the Associated Press.
Christian Wilkins was named to four midseason firstteam All-America teams, as he was named by CBS Sports, ESPN, Sports on Earth and Fox Sports. The sophomore defensive end has been among the top all-around players in the nation so far this year. The native of Springfield, Mass. has 38 tackles, including a team best 8.5 tackles for loss with three sacks and 11 quarterback pressures on the defensive line. He also has caught a touchdown pass from Deshaun Watson, run 10 yards on a fake punt and blocked a field goal. The later two plays took place in Clemson’s 24-17 overtime win against NC State on October 15. He was added to the Bednarik Award Watch List October 18.
Linebacker Ben Boulware was named a first-team midseason All-American by USA Today. The senior leads the Tigers in tackles per game and has 59 overall, including four tackles for loss. He had a key interception in the win at Auburn and had 17 tackles in the victory over Louisville. He was named National Defensive Player of the Week by four different services for that performance.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson is ranked as the No. 2 candidate for the Heisman Trophy according to five media outlets at midseason. He is ranked second behind Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson according to Newsday, the Orlando Sentinel, Campus Insiders, ESPN and the Associated Press. He is fourth on the list by Sports Illustrated. So far this year Watson has thrown 20 touchdown passes, seventh best in the nation.
Tight end Jordan Leggett is one of 16 tight ends on the midseason Mackey Award watch list. Leggett, who was a finalist for the award last year, has 15 catches for 232 yards and three touchdowns. He became Clemson’s career leader in touchdown catches by a tight end earlier this month.
Freshman Dexter Lawrence is ranked as the No. 3 freshman in the nation at midseason by Sports On Earth. He was named national Co-Defensive Freshman of the Year by 247 Sports.
Clemson Leads Nation in Tackles for Loss since 2012
One area Clemson has excelled in over the last five years is tackles behind the line of scrimmage. The run of national leading stats coincides with Brent Venables arrival at Clemson (2012) Since the beginning of the 2012 season, or the last five years including this season, Clemson has 530 tackles for loss, 41 more than No. 2 Arizona State (489. Next on the list is Virginia Tech at 449, then Stanford at 445.
Lawrence Nation’s Top Rookie Defender?
Freshman defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence has received some notice as one of the top freshman linemen in the nation. The true freshman from Winston-Salem, NC has 44 tackles in seven games four as a starter. He has played 296 snaps, so he averages a tackle every 6.7 plays. He has 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. One of the sacks came on third down on NC State’s final drive of regulation just before they missed a field goal. Lawrence has been outstanding when it comes to putting pressure on the opposing quarterback. Seventeen times he has had a quarterback pressure, most on the Clemson team that ranks in the top 10 in the nation in sacks. Lawrence had 10 tackles in the season opener against Auburn and added seven more in the win over Louisville. He has started just four games, but averages 42 plays per game
Renfrow Future Coach?
Clemson sophomore receiver Hunter Renfrow returned to the Clemson lineup vs. NC State after missing four games due to a broken bone in a wrist. He had caught a touchdown pass in each of the first two wins, six point victories over Auburn and Troy. He was injured catching a touchdown pass against Troy. Renfrow came back to the lineup against NC State and, despite wearing a soft cast, had six receptions for 53 yards. On his last catch he suffered a minor injury, but he did not stop contributing to the victory.
Late in the game, Renfrow went to his wide receiver coach Jeff Scott and described a pass play to Artavis Scott that he thought would work based on the way the Wolfpack defensive backs were playing. Scott had his team run the play and Art
Williams Establishes Career High
Mike Williams had 12 receptions for 146 yards and a touchdown in the win over NC State. His reception total was a career high and it marked the third time in his career he had at least 140 receiving yards, the second time this year. He had a career high 174 yards against Auburn in the season opener.
For the year, Williams leads the Clemson team in total receptions with 39 and in yardage with 578. His four touchdown receptions are second to the six by Deon Cain. For his career, Williams has 118 receptions for 1944 yards and 14 touchdowns. That means he needs just 56 receiving yards to reach 2000 for his career. That will give Clemson a pair of 2000 yard receivers, as junior Artavis Scott has 2117 receiving yards on 196 receptions and 16 scores.
Watson Outstanding in Fourth Period
Deshaun Watson has been outstanding in the fourth period and overtime over his Clemson career. He has not had that many opportunities for a fourth quarter comeback, but he has done it twice this year, the win over Louisville and the overtime victory against NC State. (Although Clemson never trailed in the second half against NC State, so that won’t count statistically.). A look to Watson’s performance over his career in the fourth quarter shows that he is 96-142 for 1,143 yards. He has thrown 12 touchdowns with just one interception and has a completion percentage of .676 and a passing efficiency of 161.7.
Robert – Clemson 35 Florida State 27
Gavin – Clemson 27 Florida State 20
Will – Clemson 45 Florida State 17
Qualk – Clemson 28 Florida State 23
Gabby – Clemson 35 Florida State 28
Kaila – Clemson 31 Florida State 21
Dawson – Clemson 31 Florida State 21