Florida State (7-1, 5-1) at Clemson (8-0, 5-0)
When: Saturday, November 7th, 2015
Where: Clemson Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC
Time: 3:30 ET | TV: ABC
If Florida State had just beaten Georgia Tech a few weeks ago, this could have been one of three games today involving unbeaten teams. It’s not, but it certainly doesn’t take away from the significance of it. The Seminoles can still work their way back into Playoff contention with a win today and in their final four games (or 3 – depending on today). Florida State bounced back from their only loss to beat Syracuse last week 45-21 despite their two best offensive weapons sitting out last week. Running back Dalvin Cook and quarterback Everett Golson are expected to suit up today against Clemson. Cook is the ACC’s leading rusher at 1,037 yards including 11 touchdowns, and is averaging 8.2 yards per carry. Golson is completing a career best 67.1% of his passes with 11 touchdowns and only 1 interception. Backup QB Sean Maguire threw for 349 yards and 3 touchdowns last week in his second career start, and FSU coach Jimbo Fisher told reporters earlier this week both Golson and Maguire could play Saturday. Florida State ranks 11th nationally in points allowed at 16.8 a game.
Clemson sits alone at the top of the first College Football Playoff Rankings this week thanks to an 8-0 start and a win over Notre Dame last month. They are led by quarterback Deshaun Watson, who earned national offensive player-of-the-week honors after another outstanding performance last week in a 56-41 win over N.C. State. He passed for 383 yards and five touchdowns and ran for another and comes into Saturday having completed 70.3 percent of his passes for 1,936 yards and 20 touchdowns on the season. Clemson has the second leading rusher in the ACC behind FSU’s Cook. Sophomore Wayne Gallman has 861 yards on the ground, 7 touchdowns, and a 5.4 per carry average. He has gone over 100 yards in five of his last six games. Clemson ranks 17th in the nation allowing 17.6 points a game despite allowing 41 last week. They’re 5th in total defense allowing only 278.9 yards a game.
I fully expect Clemson to win this game. They have a terrific team that is capable of winning the National Title, but 10 points seems like a lot. Florida State came into Clemson two years ago and smoked the Tigers, but they did have Jamies Winston running the show. Golson is a step down, but still very capable of keeping it close.
Pick: Florida State +10.5