After a week off and hearing all the negative talk from naysayers on television and on the radio following its one-point victory at North Carolina on Sept. 28, second-ranked Clemson gets back on the football field Saturday to take on ACC rival Florida State in a pivotal game in the ACC’s Atlantic Division.
Some think the Tigers have lost a step and are not a true playoff contender. Clemson will be looking to prove them wrong at Death Valley against a Seminoles team that has improved a lot since a Week 1 loss to Boise State.
Where: Memorial Stadium, Clemson
Records: Clemson 5-0, 3-0 ACC; Florida State 3-2, 2-1 ACC
When: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
TV: ABC (Steve Levy, Brian Griese, Todd McShay, Molly McGrath)
Radio: Clemson Tigers Network (Don Munson, C.J. Spiller, Tim Bourret, Reggie Merriweather). Sirius 113, XM 194, Internet 956
Latest Line: Clemson minus-27 points
- OVERALL: Florida State leads 20-12
- HOME: Florida State leads 8-7
- ROAD: Florida State leads 12-5
- NEUTRAL: N/A
- LAST MEETING: Oct. 27, 2018 (59-10, Clemson)
- STREAK: Clemson, Won 4
Three story lines
Is anything wrong with Trevor Lawrence’s shoulder? Earlier this week it was reported that Lawrence confirmed he injured his shoulder against Texas A&M on Sept. 7, and he underwent an MRI to see if there was any damage. The MRI came back negative. However, he did suffer a bruised shoulder. The question is how much has the shoulder injury affected his throwing shoulder and how has a week off helped it heal?
How mad will Clemson play against Florida State? For the last two weeks, all the Tigers have heard is how they are not as good as last year’s team and they are not dominating teams the way everyone thinks they should. Media and fans wonder how Clemson could almost let North Carolina beat them. It was obvious from some of the players’ and Dabo Swinney’s comments earlier this week that they did not like the things being said about them from the national media.
Florida State offensive coordinator Kendal Briles says he will play both quarterbacks—James Blackman and Alex Hornibrook—in Saturday’s game. Briles said Blackman will get the start. Both quarterbacks have been effective running Briles’ offense this year. They have combined to throw 14 touchdown passes with just 2 interceptions this season. Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables says they practiced the same way for both quarterbacks this week and that he doesn’t see any major differences between the two quarterbacks.
Florida State’s three players to watch
Cam Akers, RB: He has rushed for 582 yards and scored an ACC high 7 touchdowns already this season. Ranks top 15 nationally in all-purpose Yards, rushing TDs, rushing yards, rushing yards per game, scoring, total points scored and total touchdowns.
Terry Tamorrion, WR: The preseason All-ACC first teamer leads FSU with 21 catches, 384 yards and 4 touchdown catches. Averaging 41.7 yards on 12 career touchdown catches. In 2019, is averaging 18.3 yards per reception and 47.0 yards per touchdown.
Marvin Wilson, DT: Defensive captain has 23 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, one pass breakup, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble in 2019. Against Louisville, led FSU with a career-high 10 tackles, including a career-high 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks. His 3.5 TFL were the most in a game for a Nole since 2017.
The Seminoles are a much-improved team and they have talented players, more than North Carolina. However, Clemson will play with a chip on their shoulder and will be eager to quiet all the naysayers. Look for this game to be a little more competitive than Vegas thinks, but in the end the Tigers should come out with a solid victory.
Score prediction: Clemson 34, Florida State 20
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