QUICK HITS: No. 21 Clemson 35, No. 11 FSU 30
Posted on: September 24, 2011 7:07 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2011 8:09 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
CLEMSON WON. Death Valley was rocking from kickoff to final whistle, and Saturday's Top 25 Atlantic Division rivalry game lived up to everything we expetced as No. 21 Clemson knocked off No. 11 Florida State 35-30. Quarterback Tajh Boyd orchestrated an impressive display of Chad Morris' offense, throwing for more than 300 yards for the second straight game. Boyd becomes the first Clemson quarterback to accomplish that feat since Charlie Whitehurst, and the Tigers are 4-0 for the first time since 2007.
HOW CLEMSON WON: The Tigers did a lot of things right, but injuries and costly penalties also played a big role in Saturday's upset. Three of Clemson's first four scoring drives were kept alive by costly penalties against Florida State on 3rd or 4th down. By the end of the game, the Seminoles had racked up 11 penalties for 124 yards, which paired with the absence of EJ Manuel, Willie Haulstead, Bert Reed, and Greg Reid certainly aided the Tigers.
But don't let those facts discredit Clemson's performance. Boyd was spectacular outside of a few poor decisions (the most humorous is featured below), freshman wide receiver Sammy Watkins continued his breakout campaign with eight catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns, and the Tigers' defense took advantage of the suddenly one-dimensional Florida State offense by putting pressure on Trickett in the pocket all afternoon.
WHEN CLEMSON WON: Clint Trickett kicked off the fourth quarter by finding Rashad Greene for a 30-yard touchdown to cap off a three minute scoring drive that cut the Clemson lead to 28-23. On the very next possession, Sammy Watkins beat senior cornerback Mike Harris with a double move and Boyd hit him in stride for a 62-yard touchdown. The score deflated the Seminoles, and the offense followed with a three and out. All Clemson had to do from there was take care of the ball and burn clock.
WHAT CLEMSON WON: For the Tigers, this win was reaffirming what they began to believe in the victory against Auburn: they can hang with anyone on their schedule. Auburn, Florida State, and Virginia Tech looked like a brutal stretch coming into the season, and Dabo Swinney's squad has passed two of the tests with flying colors. Taking on Virginia Tech in Blacksburg can be a daunting task, and Saturday's win was much-needed for their confidence heading into that matchup.
WHAT FLORIDA STATE LOST: Florida State walked into Doak Campbell a week ago one win away from being a national title contender. Seven days later they are 2-2 with their starting quarterback leading a star-studded injury report. Thankfully the Seminoles have a week off before returning to ACC play against Wake Forest. This will be a crucial week for Jimbo Fisher and the Florida State coaching staff to refocus the team on their goal of reclaiming the ACC Championship.
THAT WAS CRAZY: Clemson won. Despite this derp-tastic play. (courtesy of @bubbaprog, Mocksession)
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