When Clemson lost to Notre Dame last week, defensive end K.J. Henry said it felt like a band aid was being ripped off.
The loss was the first regular season defeat for the Tigers in three years. They had won 36 straight games in the regular season and 28 ACC games in a row.
Losing is something No. 4 Clemson is not used to. The Tigers have lost just six times since the start of 2015, the fewest number of losses in all of college football during that span of time.
“Win or lose it’s not a rearview mirror mindset we have here. We have a lot of respect for the next opponent coming up in Florida State. We have to start preparing for them,” Henry said. “They’ve been playing great football lately.
“We have to flip the page and give them the respect they deserve. There is definitely some pain in losing. It’s something we aren’t used to, but at the same time we are focused on what’s up next.”
The Seminoles are also coming off a loss heading into next week’s game in Tallahassee, Fla. FSU lost 38-22 to NC State on Saturday and fell to 2-6 overall and 1-6 in the ACC.
Florida State has lost its last three games to Louisville, Pittsburgh and NC State by an average margin of 24 points. The Seminoles are in the midst of their worst season since 1976, Bobby Bowden’s first year at Florida State.
Clemson opened as a 32.5-point favorite on Sunday and has defeated the Seminoles five straight times. The Tigers defeated FSU 45-14 last year and 59-10 at Florida State in 2018. Clemson has won each of the last three meetings by at least 17 points.
However, the Tigers are banged up. Defensive tackle Tyler Davis and linebacker James Skalski have missed the last three games, while linebacker Mike Jones has missed the last two. Also, several other players were hurt in the loss to Notre Dame, including left guard Matt Bockhorst and defensive tackle Bryan Bresee.
Davis and Jones are expected to be back this week, according to head coach Dabo Swinney, while Skalski will likely miss the game.
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