TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Clemson owned the first quarter, but Florida State owned the second as Francois threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Nyqwan Murray with 23 seconds to play in the first half. Murray’s touchdown, which was originally ruled incomplete but overturned by replay, cut the Tigers’ lead to 17-14 at the half. The play capped a 6-play, 78-yard drive that took 1:21 off the clock.
Clemson opened the game with a nine-play, 68-yard scoring drive capped by a Gallman one-yard run with 11:05 to play in the first quarter. Gallman’s touchdown was set up by a 41-yard pass down the seam from Watson to Leggett, who carried the ball to the one. Gallman scored on the next play.
The Tigers extend their lead to 14-0 on their next possession as Watson threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Renfrow. The drive was an 80-yard scoring drive in which Clemson used 10 plays and took 3:36 off the clock with 1:41 to go in the first quarter.
The Tigers outgained FSU 147-67 in the opening 15 minutes as Watson was 9-for-11 for 98 yards.
Clemson had two opportunities to extend its lead with consecutive drives that started near midfield. But the Seminoles forced a three-and-out on the first one, and then Marquez White intercepted Watson on a third-and-short play and return it to the FSU 40.
The interception changed the course of the game and gave FSU life after back-to-back three-and-outs to end the first quarter. The Seminoles had 144 total yards in the second quarter, while holding the Tigers to 84 total yards.
Florida State (5-3, 2-3 ACC) was aided by two Clemson penalties, a pass interference call on Mark Fields and a Boulware holding penalty to move the ball deep into Clemson terrioty as well as a 28-yard pass play. Cook scored on a 4-yard run with 8:20 to play in the second quarter.
Huegel answered the Cook touchdown with a 23-yard field goal with 1:49 to go in the half. Safety Jadar Johnson intercepted Francois at his own 29 on a deep pass and returned it three yards. Watson drove the Tigers 62 yards in eight plays after the interception to set Huegel up with a 23-yard kick.