TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Leading up to the Clemson-Florida State game nobody foresaw what occurred on Saturday. Most people expected a close and competitive game between a talented Seminole team in their home stadium and a second-ranked Clemson team that was clicking on all cylinders.
What ensued was a complete dismantling of Florida State (4-4, 2-4) who finished the day with minus-21 yards rushing and just 247 yards of total offense. Clemson did as it pleased, tying the worst loss in Seminole history, with a whopping 59-10 victory over its divisional rival.
The Tigers (8-0, 5-0) further cemented themselves as a top-tier team by blowing out a member of the old guard in a record setting performance. It continued to roll on offense after a sluggish first quarter scoring 28 points in the second quarter on four consecutive drives.
Clemson co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliot was aware of the difficulties a stingy Seminole front presented and that his team was up to the challenge.
“I thought the guys were going to accept the challenge,” Elliot said. “We knew we were getting ready to play a defense that was very good at stopping the run with the number two guy in sacks.”
Entering the game, the Noles led the ACC and were sixth in the nation in rushing defense, yielding just 100.7 yards per game. Defensive end Brian Burns led the conference in sacks and was second nationally with nine sacks on the season and as a defense they averaged another ACC best 3.57 sacks per game.
Florida State refused to yield big yardage on the ground, but the Tigers rushed for 120 yards and opened up the air raid attack. Clemson’s offensive line stepped up not allowing a sack throughout the game on 44 passing attempts and just one tackle-for-loss.
For Elliot the battle was the opponent honest in the box to open up the offensive game plan and the protection of Lawrence allowed for Clemson to do whatever it wanted in the passing game. It totaled 524 yards of total offense, quarterback Trevor Lawrence finished the day 20-of-37 for 314 yards and four touchdowns on the afternoon.
“We had a big challenge to establish the run game to keep them honest, so we could pass the ball down field,” Elliot said. “We had to protect our quarterback, hats off to the offensive line, running backs and tight ends we didn’t give up a recorded sack.”
Saturday’s outcome showed once again the danger of facing the Tigers’ balanced attack, regardless of a defense’s strength, Elliot and company get what they want.