The tables were turned on Saturday. Clemson entered the game as the #1 team in the country and favored by double-digits. Florida State was the underdog, a role that the Seminoles were very unfamiliar with.
In the end, the Tigers won.
But Florida State fought.
They started out quick, scoring on the second play from scrimmage on a 75-yard touchdown run from Dalvin Cook. The defense, returning many players from injury, held Deshaun Watson and the dynamic Clemson offense to 6 points in the first half. Cason Beatty, widely criticized during his tenure as punter, was phenomenal and did a remarkable job of flipping the field.
But, unfortunately, Clemson was the better team.
Florida State’s offense was rattled due to the crowd noise and the youth of the offense line and they committed costly penalties to put them behind the chains. The Tigers focused on stopping Dalvin Cook coming out of halftime and Cook wasn’t able to be the factor that he was in the first half. Sean Maguire, in his third career start, was erratic and threw a costly interception on the second drive of the game that could have put the Seminoles up by double digits.
After a good job of getting to Deshaun Watson in the first half, the defense couldn’t get the same push and the sophomore quarterback was able to gash Florida State with his legs. Dabo Swinney and the coaching staff coached a very good game and exposed some of Florida State’s coverage issues and were able to convert key third downs with screen passes.
Clemson was the better team and it showed on the field. But this Florida State squad fought and almost pulled out the win.
Tip your caps to Clemson and here’s to hoping they can represent the ACC well in the playoffs.