FSU Opponent Preview: Clemson

What is usually hyped as the ACC match-up to decide the Conference is now, instead, just your usual fare in Conference play.


Clemson is looking for a third straight appearance in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game. Only one team stands in their way: a talented (but depleted) 3-5 Florida State squad.

I don’t believe much needs to be said about Florida State at this point: they are a team with deep cultural problems, in desperate need of Coaching changes, and plagued with injuries all across the offense. The win versus Syracuse keeps them in contention for the bowl season (they re-scheduled the ULM game for December 2nd at noon), however most would identify this squad as perhaps the biggest disappointment in all of College Football. Can Florida State, after an uplifting and inspiring win, pull the upset and serve as spoiler in the Atlantic division?

I doubt it.


8-1 (6-1 in Conference)

Strengths: QB Kelly Bryant, Defensive Line

Weaknesses: WR talent (deep pass), Secondary

Observations: Make no mistake, FSU has the talent to match Clemson, however they are sorely lacking in coaching, and unfortunately the offensive weapons are limited. Clemson will be inclined to stuff the run game, forcing FSU to pass. FSU, by the way, is forced to utilize walk-ons at WR, the roster is depleted so. The TE depth isn’t being properly utilized, the backup-QB James Blackman has to evade Clemson defenders with poor Offensive Line play, the unfortunately reality is the Offense won’t have the capabilities to maximize and capitalize on Clemson’s weaknesses (which, as Syracuse demonstrated, are evident in Clemson). Meanwhile, the FSU Defense can keep the team in contention for the game IF they decide to perform for this team. However, we are also likely to see a defense give up in the face of such staunch adversity.

I like to think that FSU would play inspired football versus their in-conference rival, however the reality is Florida State gives up on itself when the going gets tough. Uninspired to play for their coaches or one another, I can see this turn ugly in a hurry. The reality is FSU needs to win on Defense and Special Teams, as I believe the Offense might be lucky to score 7 on this Clemson defense.

Prediction: I like the way FSU is trending from what I am hearing behind-the-scenes (think off-season), however I just don’t see FSU being able to keep-up with Clemson through all phases of the game and through four quarters, let alone in Death Valley! FSU should count their lucky stars they aren’t playing a prime-time game versus the Tigers. I see them feasting come kickoff.

FSU 13 Clemson 34

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