Second-ranked Clemson responded definitively to pundits who questioned its status as an elite team by absolutely dominating ACC Atlantic Division rival Florida State 45-7 on Saturday afternoon.
On offense the Tigers bounced back after an underwhelming performance at North Carolina with 552 yards of total offense with 320 on the ground and 232 yards passing.
Defensively it was all Clemson, the Tigers allowed just 253 yards on the day with 150 passing and 103 rushing while forcing four turnovers including an interception for a touchdown by Derion Kendrick. They also held Cam Akers to a measly 34 yards on nine carries.
Following each game The Clemson Insider gives helmet stickers to Tiger players who contributed to the game plan with outstanding individua performances.
Simmons led the Tigers in tackles for yet another week with eight total tackles, seven of which were solo tackles. He also sacked Seminole backup quarterback Alex Hornibrook for a loss of seven yards, recorded another tackle for loss and forced a Cam Akers fumble in the third quarter.
Etienne looked impressive and played to the expectation he made for himself. Not only did Etienne pass the 3000-yard mark for his career but he finished the game with 17 carries for 127 yards. His longest carry of the day totaled 27 yards at the start of the third quarter.
Etienne also showed his versatility with a reception as well as a 23-yard pass in the first quarter to Justyn Ross.
Kendrick hasn’t been in the end zone in a long time after switching from wide receiver to cornerback at the start of the 2019 season. He broke his scoreless streak Saturday with a 38-yard pick six in the second quarter when he intercepted Seminole quarterback James Blackmon. Kendrick also recorded a pair of tackles and a pass breakup.
Ross led Tiger receivers with five catches for 61 yards and two touchdowns. His first touchdown of the day came on third-and-seven on a crossing rout for a 10-yard score out of the hand of Trevor Lawrence. Ross’ scored again in the second quarter on an eight-yard touchdown pass also from Lawrence.
Ross grabbed his longest reception in the first quarter on a 23-yard pass from running back Travis Etienne.
Rodgers finished the game on Saturday with 73 all-purpose yards and a touchdown. He caught five passes for 61 yards and rushed once for a 29-yard touchdown in the third quarter.