Clemson vs. Florida State fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, October 27
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, FL
Clemson (7-0) vs. Florida State (4-3) Game Preview
One Reason Why Clemson Will Win
Yeah, Florida State’s running game started to work a little bit last week, but when 132 yards is a cause for celebration, there’s an issue.
The Seminole offensive line continues to be a work in progress. It’s not great in pass protection, and it’s a nightmare at keeping defenses out of the backfield – Miami’s defensive front had a part behind the FSU line – and now it has to deal with the most talented defensive front in college football.
Willie Taggart is right; the FSU O has to deal with a dominant FSU D on a daily basis. That doesn’t mean the line is stopping anyone or getting anything going on the ground.
The Noles are averaging under three yards per carry, and last week against Wake Forest was the first time in a five game run that they averaged more than 2.7 in a game.
Florida State isn’t running the ball on Clemson.
That’s a problem, considering the Tigers are fifth in the nation in pass defense, giving up just one touchdown pass in the last five games. On the year, Clemson has held four of the seven teams it’s faced to under 100 yards through the air.
Granted, Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech – run first, run only offenses – are among that group, but future NFL starter Ryan Finley and NC State were shut down to 193 yards and a dead stop last week, too.
One Reason Why Florida State Will Win
Taggert is right. This Florida State defensive line can play a little bit, too.
Miami’s defense might own the tackle for loss world, and Clemson’s defensive front isn’t far behind, but FSU leads the nation in sacks, with Brian Burns having a whale of a season cranking up nine so far.
NC State head coach Dave Doeren was right when he said Tiger QB Trevor Lawrence hasn’t been knocked on his butt enough. FSU will do that.
No, the Noles aren’t going to all of a sudden run wild, but they are getting a quietly fantastic season out of Deondre Francois, who hit Wake Forest for 353 yards and two scores last week, making it three games in the last four with 294 passing yards or more with ten scoring passes over the stretch.
The FSU defense has to be amazing, it has to hold down red hot Tiger RB Travis Etienne, and it has to keep the game alive so the offensive side can take a few chances and try to open things up.
What’s Going To Happen
Florida State really is getting better.
All of the doom and gloom from the first part of the season has gone away a bit as the offense is starting to find things that work, and the defense has been terrific considering the lack of support from the other side.
But Clemson is humming at just the right time.
Destroying Wake Forest isn’t that bit a deal, but it was a nice bounceback after the Syracuse scare, and the two weeks off before dealing with NC State seemed to have rejuvenated everyone.
FSU’s defense will keep this from getting out of hand, and it’s not going to be a walk-through, but Clemson will get up early, the D will take over, and it’ll be a solid, workmanlike win over a team that’s getting more and more dangerous (foreshadowing a bit to the Notre Dame game in a few weeks).
Fearless Prediction & Line
Clemson 34, Florida State 20
Line: Clemson -16.5, o/u: 51
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2.5
Must See Rating: 3.5
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