Saturday Night, the Clemson Tigers will take on ACC Atlantic Division rival Florida State under the lights at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee Florida. The Tigers are 1-1 on the season and ranked 22 in the AP and 24 in the Coaches Poll, while the Seminoles are 2-0 and ranked #1 in both polls. The winner of the past 5 games between these 2 opponents has gone on to represent the Atlantic Division in the ACC Championship game. Clemson has lost 2 in a row in the series, and is looking to pay back the Seminoles for last years 51-14 drubbing that took place in Death Valley. For the 3rd straight year, ESPN’s College Gameday will be broadcasting from the sight of this game, and the game itself will be broadcasted on ABC in the 8:00 primetime slot.
Clemson Quarterback Questions: While Coach Dabo Swinney insists that there is no Quarterback controversy, the fans can’t help but wonder how much action true freshman Deshaun Watson will receive this weekend. While senior Cole Stoudt has been solid in both games this year, Watson has looked dynamite in his limited playing time. Many fans were frustrated during Clemson’s home opener that Watson still did not get as much playing time as many thought he should have. This week, we will probably see a rotation similar to the Georgia game where Watson only comes in for short spurts early in the game, unless an injury occurs. The second half rotation, like in the UGA game, will probably be situational and based on the score.
Weapons Aplenty: Whoever is playing quarterback for Clemson definitely has a lot of talent to work with. While there isn’t someone who is Sammy Watkins caliber quite yet, there are definitely plenty of talented receivers that could cause FSU some trouble. Sophomore Mike Williams, who Clemson fans got a taste of last year, has been a favorite target of both Stoudt and Watson. Freshman receiver Artavis Scott went off in his second game against SC State. And Junior Receiver Charone Peake looks like he has recovered from his ACL injury, and looks like the player we knew he could be. As for the running backs, Senior DJ Howard and Junior CJ Davidson should still get plenty of touches, but don’t be surprised to see more out of freshmen Wayne Gallman and Adam Choice, who had great games in week 2. And even though senior tight end Sam Cooper is out with a broken fibula, Jordan Leggett, Stanton Seckinger, and Jay Jay McCullough all have shown to be capable at the tight end spot.
Slowing Down Famous Jameis: Last year, Jameis Winston ran rough shot over the Tigers Defense. Expect this years squad to be motivated to not let that happen, especially after Winston’s twitter trash talking. While in Clemson with the FSU baseball squad for a three game series with Clemson, Winston took a picture of Death Valley and tweeted it with the caption “Our House”. This did not sit well with Tiger players and fans, so expect the D Line to be pinning their ears back on third and long to get a shot at the Heisman Trophy winning QB
It’s always a wild time when the Tigers and ‘Noles do battle. With both teams having questions, this weekend is where we will learn a lot about what they are made of.