When the first College Football Playoff rankings came out this week, the Clemson Tigers were chosen as the No.1 team in the nation. While the achievement is nice for now, it means nothing if the Tigers don’t take care of business in the ACC.
No.16 Florida State Seminoles vs. No.1 Clemson Tigers
Their first test since the release of the initial rankings will be against the No.16 Florida State Seminoles. With the Seminoles coming to town, the Tigers can go from the best team in the country to needing help to win the ACC Atlantic.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson is the leader of the Tigers’ high profile offense. This season Watson has 20 touchdown passes and only seven interceptions. Watson also completes 70 percent of his passes, while maintaining his status of the second leading rusher for the Tigers. Despite Watson’s greatness, he’s not doing it alone.
Wayne Gallman is coming into Clemson’s biggest game of the year with 861 rushing yards. His seven rushing touchdowns leads the entire team, so it shows the depth of Clemson’s offense in all facets.
Still, the Florida State defense will key in on these two players the most. Coming into the game, the Seminoles are giving up 139 rushing yards per game. If they are able to hold Gallman in check, the defense might be able to contain the passing game. However, if the Seminoles have to commit more players to the run, the Tigers will have plenty of room to get their aerial attack in full gear.
Florida State Seminoles
Running back Dalvin Cook has been one of the most explosive players in college football this season. Entering today’s contest, Cook has 12 touchdowns, while averaging 8.2 yards per carry. He missed last week’s game due to an ankle injury, but should be ready to go for the Seminoles.
With Cook missing last week, the Seminoles offense didn’t miss a beat. Interestingly enough, quarterback Everett Golson also missed the game with a concussion. Sean Maguire faced the Syracuse defense for his second career start and played magnificently. Last season, Maguire led the Seminoles to the narrow victory over the Tigers, so he has the experience of facing this rough and tumble defense. However, he hasn’t seen the field in Death Valley. Combined, the two quarterbacks have thrown 17 touchdowns and one interception. Therefore, Jimbo Fisher has a real decision to make for the Seminoles.
Defensively, the Tigers have forced 15 turnovers this season. If they force the Seminoles into early mistakes, this game could swing in Clemson’s favor. Remember, they flew out to an early lead on Notre Dame, then held on for a two point win. Despite a loss, the Seminoles are still in the College Football Playoff race. They just can’t afford another loss. This is the perfect opportunity for Clemson to win. They should have everything in their favor.
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