fbpx
NoleGameday

Florida State vs Clemson Game Preview

Game Introduction:

Get ready for the most daunting remaining schedule in college football.  Florida State begins it’s treacherous ending to the 2018 season against the #2 ranked Clemson Tigers. Clemson enters the game at 7-0, with a couple close calls against Texas A&M (hi, Jimbo) and Syracuse. The home team in this series has won the last 13 out of 16 games. The game kicks off at noon and will be aired on ABC.

Headlines

Brian Burns Earning His Bag

Brian Burns now leads the nation in sacks. He has been great all year and only seems to be growing in power every game. Even Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney praised the Florida State defensive ends in his press conference, saying they are the “best” he’s seen from the ‘Noles. Which isn’t far off, since Florida State is tied for first in the ACC with 25 sacks. Even with Joshua Kaindoh sitting out the first half for a targeting penalty, Florida State should get plenty of pressure on Clemson true freshman QB Trevor Lawrence.

Clemson Look to Make it Four Straight Against FSU

This has turned into a series of streaks. Since FSU won three straight from 2013-2015,  Clemson has rattled off three straight wins of its own. Clemson is at the peak as a program, making the College Football Playoffs three straight years and winning the National Championship in 2016. With the number one overall quarterback recruit from the 2018 cycle now starting under center, it doesn’t look like the Tigers will be coming down from the peak any time soon.

Burning Questions

What are the keys to a Florida State upset?

For starters, Florida State must rattle Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence early. Whether its a sack, big hit, or quick opening drive three and out, the ‘Noles defense must put pressure on the young QB early. Moreover, FSU must also start as fast as they did against Miami. However, a start fast doesn’t translate into consistent play into the fourth quarter. If the ‘Noles jump out to an early lead, they must at the very least take care of the football and play the field position game. Finally, Florida State cannot leave points on the board. Texas A&M got burned by missing a couple field goals (one blocked), and not converting field goals into touchdowns inside the 30. Ricky Aguayo must be perfect when given the opportunity, but more importantly, Florida State must get six when they get the chance.

Can this FSU offensive line block the Clemson D-line?

The short answer is not really. Clemson boasts arguably the best defensive line in the country, and Florida State’s offensive line is well, you know. FSU must get the ball out of Francois’ hands quickly, and 12 cannot hold on to the ball against the Tigers’ pass rush. Clemson’s secondary has been suspect at times, particularly against Texas A&M. I’m sure coach Taggart and coach Bell have some tricks up their sleeves for Saturday, as game planning for this Clemson front seven is no easy task.

Forecast:

Willie Taggart said it best in his press conference: “If you want to be the man, you have to beat the man.”. No one could have guessed the state of this Florida State program after the Jameis Winston era, but here we are. Clemson has surpassed the ‘Noles as a program, however, the Tigers have only out-recruited FSU once since Dabo Swinney took over the program. There is still a lot of talent on this Seminoles football team. The ‘Noles have their hands full against the firepower of this Clemson offense, with players such as wide receiver Tee Higgins and running back Travis Etienne. FSU corner Levonta Taylor must play at a high level if the ‘Noles want to pull off this upset. Francois must be near perfect, and Cam Akers has to make some plays. With that said, the upset is highly unlikely. However, football is a very stupid game, and a lot of stupider things have happened. I’ll take Florida State in the shocker, 27-24 on a late touchdown. Make sure to go to bed early Friday and set your alarm clocks early Saturday morning!


Leave a Reply