Note: If you’re looking for the 2014 Week 4 matchup between these two teams, please go here: Clemson Tigers vs. Florida State Seminoles Pick.
Florida State Seminoles (4-4, 2-5 ATS) at Clemson Tigers (5-3, 5-2 ATS)
Death Valley Clemson, S.C. Saturday November 7th, 12:00PM Eastern
By Jay Horne of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Florida State +8.5/Clemson -8.5
This week’s match-up between the Florida State Seminoles
and Clemson Tigers once symbolized one of the most popular
rivalries in the ACC. In previous years the game was known to all as the
Bowden Bowl due to a family rivalry between Seminole Coach Bobby
Bowden and his son Tommy Bowden who was the former Coach of the
Clemson Tigers. However, the younger Bowden is no longer with the Tigers
meaning the previous name of the rivalry may be insignificant. However,
that is not to say that there is any love loss between these schools as
this is one of the biggest games of the year for both parties involved this
Saturday as the two collide in Death Valley.
Florida State has salvaged their season in some ways battling back from a 2-4 start to get back to the .500 mark on the year. The critics have been a little more silent for Bobby Bowden in recent weeks, but rest assured they will be singing loudly at the next slip-up by the Seminoles. The interesting aspect to this week’s game is both teams are surprisingly still in the ACC race. Clemson at 5-3 overall stands at 3-2 in conference play and actually on top of the ACC Atlantic division. Florida State mathematically is still in the hunt as well. If the Seminoles can knock off Clemson, they will control their own destiny with the help of another Boston College loss which most expect will happen. It’s hard to believe both of these teams can still have a chance at an ACC Championship, but only 1 will still have that chance after this weekend.
The Tigers will host the contest after blowing out Division II opponent in Coastal Carolina last week 49-3. A week prior, the Tigers upset Miami in an overtime thriller and their recent success has resulted in some top 25 nominations from the pollsters. The Tigers offense is starting to come alive. Running back C.J. Spiller and WR Jacoby Ford are big play guys with lightening type speed. The Seminoles defense must pay attention to Spiller as he can make things happen where ever he lines up on the field. Spiller has 574 yards out of the backfield with an additional 267 yards receiving. Plus Spiller has returned a few kickoffs on the year as well.
Ford has 440 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns and he may be the biggest asset this Saturday against the Seminoles secondary. Freshman QB Kyle Parker has completed just 52% with 10 scores and 8 interceptions. Parker took advantage of a weak Miami pass defense throwing for 326 yards and 3 scores just two weeks ago and will get the chance to put up similar numbers against a Florida State secondary that ranks an embarrassing 97th in America allowing 246 yards per game.
The Seminoles will look for quarterback Christian Ponder to lead them to victory for the 3rd week in a row. Ponder has been outstanding for the Seminoles this season ranking 5th individually in college football with 2,453 yards in just 8 games. The big question heading into their match-up with Clemson is will Ponder be at 100%. The Seminoles quarterback was beaten up last week and has bruised ribs even though he will still be the starter this weekend. It will be important that the Florida State offensive line protect Ponder from a tough defensive front out of Clemson and keep him from healthy.
Wide receivers Bert Reed and Rod Owens have combined for just less than 1,000 yards this season with 3 touchdowns. These guys will have to help Florida State score some points considering how well Clemson has played over recent weeks. This game has all the makings to be another shootout and Florida State has pulled out two straight shootouts in recent weeks. Can the Seminoles help keep the critics off Bobby Bowden’s back for another week?
Jay’s Pick - Spiller and Ford will run wild in the Florida State secondary as Clemson wins convincingly. Take Clemson -8.5.