O’Daniel doesn’t feel sorry for FSU
It’s a good thing Florida State ranks 12th in the ACC in passing offense because the Clemson secondary appears to still be banged up.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney made it appear in his weekly press conference on Tuesday at the Allen Reeves Football Complex, the fourth-ranked Tigers might still be without cornerbacks Marcus Edmond and Mark Fields when they host Florida State Saturday with the ACC’s Atlantic Division title at stake.
The good news is Swinney says freshman A.J. Terrell is ready to go after being banged up at the end of the NC State game last Saturday.
As for Fields, he did not practice last night due to his injured foot which he suffered in last month’s loss to Syracuse. He has missed the last two games because of it. Swinney said they put Fields through what they call their “yellow jersey protocol” in order to assess him more.
Edmond, who has been out since the Auburn game on Sept. 9, has been practicing, but he just hasn’t been game ready. Swinney said he isn’t quite confident enough yet to play in a game at the level he needs to play at.
Edmond has missed the last seven games.
That means the Tigers will have to perhaps use wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud for a second straight game at cornerback. He came in late in the game against NC State, after Terrell got dinged up on the Wolfpack’s final drive.
“First of all, he earned it,” Swinney said about McCloud and his ability to just jump right into the mix the way he did. “It’s not like we have not practiced him there. But also, we needed to put someone in there with maturity that could handle that situation.
“I’m proud of him … we have believed in.”
Swinney said having McCloud play corner allows them to keep a guy like K’Von Wallace at safety, which helps with the depth there, especially with Tanner Muse still banged up. He also said Wallace is not as polished at corner so it helps the team more with Wallace playing safety.
Wallace of course broke up a pass to Jaylen Samuels at the goal line that could have gone for a game-tying touchdown. On the next play, he intercepted Ryan Finley’s desperation throw to seal the Tigers’ victory.
Cain on why the FSU game will be intense. For those that think Clemson is going to run right over Florida State because the Seminoles are having a down year, the junior says that is not the case at all.
He actually expects this year’s game to be just as intense as it always is.
“This will probably be a little more intense because now we are going to try to clinch the ACC (Atlantic) and this is really one of our goals that we just want to cancel out,” he said. “So we have to come in there with a good, humble mindset and really be ready to attack because at the end of the day we are going to get the best Florida State and I know they’re going to come in playing hard.”
Cain, who is from Florida, is glad the game will be played in Death Valley.
“It’s always a big thing to come home and play Florida State,” he said. “It’s probably one of the biggest rivalries around here in Clemson. I have a lot of friends that committed to Florida State. Going through the recruiting process I met them.
“I do have a lot of friends going through Florida State so it’ll be fun.”
O’Daniel doesn’t feel sorry for FSU. One reason why the Seminoles have struggled this year is due to the loss of starting quarterback and leader Deondre Francois. The Seminoles’ signal-caller tore up his knee in FSU’s season-opening loss to Alabama and they have not been the same since.
The ‘Noles (3-5, 3-4 ACC) come into Saturday’s ACC Showdown sporting their worst record since 1976, the last time they had a losing record. Florida State has not missed a bowl game since 1982. They need three wins in their last four games to avoid that part of history as well.
“It’s unfortunate for them,” O’Daniel said. “They still have good players across the board, but any time your starting quarterback goes down, and to rebound and make a run, that’s hard to do. But a lot of FSU’s losses are on the last play so it’s not like they haven’t been in close games with good teams.
“So you have to take that into account. For us, it’s preparing as if they were undefeated.”