Despite its 4-3 record, Florida State is a team No. 2 Clemson can never overlook, especially as the Tigers head down to Tallahassee to take on the Seminoles Saturday at noon in Doak Campbell Stadium.
Although the divisional rivalry between the two teams has not felt like as much of a rivalry in recent years, Clemson receiver Hunter Renfrow will always remember the last time the Tigers traveled to Tallahassee and pulled out a thrilling last-second, 37-34 victory in 2016.
“I remember we got out early, I think it was a 14-0 lead,” Renfrow said. “I haven’t gone back and watched the game yet but we got up to a 14-0 lead and then the offense kind of went stalemate for a little bit.
“Then they came back and I remember Dalvin Cook had a big touchdown in the fourth quarter and I remember the scoreboard shaking and just being a real, live atmosphere. Then we hit a little cross to Jordan Leggett that basically won us the game, so it was a fun time down there.”
Although Florida State has not been the same team since that year they still have a talented roster along with quarterback Deondre Francois, who is currently first in the ACC with 1,859 passing yards and should not be taken lightly.
“They have as much talent as anybody in the country, especially us,” Renfrow said. “Probably more talent than us. So we just have to have a great week of practice and go out there and get ready for them.”
Some could argue that an entire new coaching staff for Florida State, led by head coach Willie Taggart, could be a challenge for the Tigers considering there may be more unknowns this year. However, Renfrow said it is nothing they aren’t already used to and will adjust accordingly.
“It seems like all of this year we’ve had a new defensive coordinator that we’ve played,” he said. “Early in the season just a lot of unknowns so this is no different. We’re just going to try to tackle them and take what they give us.
“That’s kind of been our motto since I’ve been here. Just see what the defense is going to try to take away from us and take what they’re giving us. That’s just what we’re going to try to do.”
With Trevor Lawrence looking more composed and poised with every game along with many offensive weapons in both the passing and running game, Clemson should be just fine.
“We watched a little bit (of film) yesterday but like I said before, we’re just going to try to take away from whatever they give to us,” Renfrow said. “If they want to play a lot of man then we’ll try to beat them down the field. Take those matchups. I like Tee Higgins in a one-on-one matchup.
“If they try to play the zone and sit back then we can hand it off to Travis (Etienne), or Adam (Choice), Lyn-J (Dixon), Tavien (Feaster) and see what we can do and how it goes from there.”