NoleGameday Staff Score Predictions: FSU at Clemson

We’ve officially reached the halfway point of the college football season and man, it seems to be flying by extremely fast just like every year. Florida State emerges out of its bye week with a 3-2 record but it doesn’t get any easier for the Seminoles moving forward. Head coach Willie Taggart and company travel to Clemson this Saturday for a date with the defending national champions.

Without a doubt, this is the toughest game left on FSU’s schedule and a lot of other people believe that as well, with the ‘Noles currently sitting as a 27-point underdog. While a win is hard to expect, it’d be very encouraging for Taggart’s team to show signs of being competitive with the Tigers. At the very least, they can’t lose 59-10 again.

Florida State has been playing more consistently over the past few weeks and the Seminoles need to continue that trend to have ANY chance of staying in this one.

Make sure to check out the latest episode of Hear The Spear presented by NoleGameday for Dustin, Logan, and Fisher’s full thoughts and a breakdown of the upcoming game against the Tigers. The guys discuss a few keys to victory, James Blackman’s return, Q&A, and much more in a jam-packed episode.

Our staff gives their score predictions for week seven below.

Dustin Lewis (@Dussttin)

Florida State takes on one of the top teams in college football on the road following a bye week. Unfortunately, Clemson’s had the last week off as well so I’m not sure how much of a benefit that gives either side. We’ve seen the Seminoles get incrementally better each week since almost losing to UL-Monroe in week two.

However, it’s hard to see just about any scenario where FSU wins this game. The ‘Noles are going to need to play their best game of the season to even keep this one close. With Blackman back in the lineup, I think that’s a possibility.

I can see this team keeping it close for the first half but the Tigers will pull away as the game goes on. I think this is a loss that fans won’t feel bad about it. They’ll be proud of how this team holds up in Death Valley.

Score prediction: Clemson 41, FSU 20

2019 record: 4-1

Richard Barnes (@R_Barnes407)

I think the worst thing that could have happened to Florida State concerning this game was Clemson nearly being upset at North Carolina before the bye week. This weekend we will figure out if this Clemson team truly is significantly flawed much like the 2014 Florida State team or if they just hit a speed bump in Chapel Hill waking up a sleeping giant.

This FSU team has improved every game since their near loss to ULM and I think they come out and play with confidence. The only way for FSU to win this weekend is by successfully running tempo and getting as many possessions as possible. On the flip side, that could also be a recipe for a blowout loss if Clemson gets in a groove offensively.  I think the ‘Noles will need to be around +3 in the turnover margin column to really have a chance at the end. I just can’t bank on that happening though. Dabo will be out for blood and won’t let up given the opportunity.

Score prediction: Clemson 44, FSU 20

2019 record: 4-1

Logan Robinson (@LogansTwitty)

Florida State is going to have a tough time in Death Valley but I don’t think it will be like last year’s murder in Tallahassee. James Blackman is the right choice for the starting QB position and I think if he doesn’t overthink himself as he did for a good amount of the Virginia game he should be able to get some things clicking. He’s able to stretch the field and elude pressure better than Alex Hornibrook and that’s going to be a major key for Florida State’s offense. Blackman to Tamorrion Terry when there are one on one opportunities is a must in this game. I would think Kendal Briles has been masterminding a plan to make that an opportunity for Blackman on Saturday afternoon.

Defensively, Harlon Barnett and Jim Leavitt have had the time to watch all the film they need on Clemson. The ‘Noles are riding on some momentum on that side of the ball and I do think they’ll find a way to get to Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence. Not having Janarius Robinson in the first half is going to hurt but it’s time to watch younger guys step in. I’d like to see Barnett run some of the blitz packages he was throwing at Boise State’s QB Hank Bachmeier. Utilizing some of your fastest and athletic guys like Levonta Taylor and Carlos Becker is a must in my opinion to bring extra pressure. Lastly, this has to be a gigantic game for FSU’s three big boys on the defensive line. Corey Durden, Marvin Wilson, and Robert Cooper have got to take it to the next level. The bye week helps their case. Big boys need their rest and they’ve had plenty by now. They should be ready to wreak havoc. Like I mentioned on Hear the Spear, future top 10 draft pick Wilson needs to have the best game of his Florida State career and I think he acknowledges that.

Score prediction: Clemson 34, ‘Noles 17

2019 record: 4-1

Austin Downey (@AustinDowney)

This is a game just about everyone already penciled in as a loss before the season started. Clemson’s offense has had its fair share of growing pains but they will have success against a depleted ‘Nole defense. Janarius Robinson’s suspension is a huge blow as I don’t see much pressure getting to Trevor Lawrence with Robinson out, along with injuries to Kaindoh and Lars-Woodbey. Florida State’s offensive line will also struggle to block the Tiger defensive line (which comes to no surprise).

I believe it will be a close game early, but the Tigers eventually pull away and make it a multiple possession game. If the ‘Noles can make it through this weekend healthy, I see that as a win in itself to prepare for a much more winnable game in Winston Salem next week.

Score prediction: Clemson 45, FSU 20

2019 record: 3-2

Austin Veazey (@NolesVikesMavs)

While the spread is way too high, I still don’t think it’s very likely FSU wins. Clemson is much more talented and better coached, but they also haven’t looked as dominant as last season. Dabo Swinney was very complimentary of Cam Akers, which makes me think they’ll go all out to stop him. If FSU can’t get the running game going, it’s going to mean trouble for the Noles.

Score prediction: Clemson 38, FSU 24

2019 record: 3-2

Tom Riddlestone 

If you have any information or tips about Clemson breaking NCAA bylaws please call the NCAA Headquarters hotline at (317) 917-6222. Otherwise…

Score prediction: Clemson 48, FSU 26

2019 record: 3-2

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