Clemson vs. Florida State: Prediction and preview
Clemson vs. Florida State is one of the ACC’s premier games of Week 7 and will take place on Saturday night in a matchup of ACC Atlantic division titans.
Clemson will be looking to improve to 7-0 on the season and solidify its résumé for the College Football Playoff. On the other side, the Seminoles are hoping to snap a 2-game losing streak and beat the Tigers for the first time since 2014.
Clemson vs. Florida State preview
Clemson enters this game with the nation’s longest active winning streak of 12 games. It’s been nearly 1 calendar year since Clemson’s last loss — Oct. 23, 2021, at Pittsburgh. The streak began a week later with Clemson’s 30-20 win over Florida State in Death Valley.
Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei has been arguably the biggest reason for the Tigers’ resurgence. He’s been one of the top quarterbacks in the ACC this season after struggling mightily a year ago. If Florida State is going to upset the Tigers on Saturday, it will need to shutdown Uiagalelei like it did a year ago. Uiagalelei managed just 189 passing yards on 31 attempts last season.
Florida State’s defense has been solid to start the season, but the Noles have serious injury concerns going into this game. The biggest question marks are on the interior defensive line, where key contributors like Robert Cooper and Fabien Lovett are dealing with injuries.
FSU’s offensive line has also been ravaged by injuries. Starting right tackle Bless Harris has already been ruled out for the season. Left tackle Robert Scott has also missed time and is questionable this week against the Tigers. Florida State’s offensive line was dominated by NC State’s front in the second half last week.
That could be a problematic matchup for the Noles this week as they face a Clemson defensive line that is getting healthy at the right time. For the first time this season, Clemson is expected to have all 5 of its primary defensive linemen available for this game: Xavier Thomas, Bryan Bresee, KJ Henry, Tyler Davis and Myles Murphy.
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Clemson’s defense has been lights out since struggling against Wake Forest in Winston-Salem. The Tigers’ secondary has recovered and is also now much healthier moving into the latter part of the season. Cornerback Sheridan Jones is still questionable vs. FSU, but Malcolm Greene, RJ Mickens and Tyler Venables are all expected to be back this week.
Clemson vs. Florida State prediction
This is the final game of a brutal 3-game stretch in Florida State’s schedule. The Noles are still fighting for a shot at 10+ wins this season — a mark they haven’t reached since 2016. However, this team has consistently made mistakes — like penalties, bad turnovers and drops — in key moments this season. Florida State is talented enough to keep it close, or even win, if it plays its best game. Anything less should result in a comfortable win for the Tigers.
Prediction: Clemson 27, Florida State 21