It’s been over a decade since an unranked Florida State team pulled off a victory over the No. 2 ranked team. Limited parameters for sure, but no sport can channel the power of upsets like college football. Now Florida State has the chance to shock the world at Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday afternoon as it plays host to the Clemson Tigers.
We here at The Daily Nole have provided a week’s worth of content aimed at giving you all the information necessary for this game. Check out some of our stories below if you haven’t already:
FSU Football: First Look at Clemson
FSU’s Biggest Questions for Clemson
FSU’s Francois Quietly Enjoying Big Statistical Year
The Daily Nole — Oct. 23, 2018: FSU to Wear Garnet on Gold vs. Clemson
FSU Football: State of Recruiting Heading Into the Clemson Game
Lead writer Clint Eiland: Considering how Florida State opened up against Miami, it appears that the Seminoles have the ability to start strong against superior opponents. That is absolutely necessary against Clemson, who could turn it into a blowout if it gets rolling early.
The problem for Florida State is that every weakness it possesses will be tested by Clemson’s biggest strengths. Cornerbacks that tend to get exploited by possession receivers, a weak offensive line, and a spotty linebacker unit all play right into Clemson’s hands. Florida State’s defense can still mitigate some of these issues, especially if the pass rush can get to quarterback Trevor Lawrence consistently. Offensively, FSU will attempt to spread the ball out and get it away from the offensive line as quickly as possible.
It is still a tough situation for any coach to figure out. Stranger things have happened, but it just feels like Clemson has too much going in its favor for FSU to stand a chance. It’ll be close for a half, but the Tigers pull away comfortably in the final two quarters thanks to FSU’s inability to move the ball on offense. Clemson 42, FSU 17.
Editor Mike Ferguson: Defensively, especially up front, Florida State has the ability to make things tough on Clemson freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence. This will be the most hostile environment that Lawrence has faced since becoming the full-time starter and the Seminoles can make things happen defensively.
With that said, the FSU offensive line is still a weakness and righting the ship against arguably the best defensive line in the country won’t be easy. FSU has gotten better up front, but offensive line coach Greg Frey isn’t a miracle worker. FSU is fully capable of making this a 4-quarter football game, but expect the defense to spend a lot of time on the field.
Eventually, Clemson’s talented playmakers will make plays. FSU may need to play a perfect game to pull the upset and maybe get a non-offensive score or set up a score on defense or special teams. Even then, it’s a tall order. Clemson 31, FSU 10.
Digital contest manager Edwin Collins: College football is a funny sport. For the third week in a row, the No. 2 team in the country loses after falling on the road by at least 14 points. FSU shocks the world and beats the Tigers, 28-14.