Florida State Seminoles @ Clemson Tigers Preview

Because of all the content posted throughout the week, this preview will be shorter than normal.

First we had the conversation with the Clemson experts.  We also answered their questions.

Here's a good preview of FSU's offense.   

Clemson's offense?

 It's in the top 3rd in the country, much better than BC, USF, or UNC, but a step below NC State, Miami, and of course GTech.


What do they run? Clemson Offense: HB Power/Trap playsTD Spiller! Pro Wing X OverClemson Offense: 34/35 Zone SprintDefensive Breakdowns against TCU: Veer OptionClemson offense: Sprint Draw/Play-action pass.


Clemson Defense?  Elite, extremely well coached:


 Inside the Steele Curtain: Cover 1 RobberInside the Steele Curtain: Steele Philosophy and the basics of Cover 3Inside the Steele Curtain: Cover 3 Zone BlitzDefending the Spread with the Nickel DefenseInside the Steele Curtain: 4-3 Under/Over FrontStunts in the 4-3 Defense.

So we have an elite offense against an elite defense, and a good offense against one of the worst defenses in the country.  Both special teams units have been good and Clemson's is close to elite.  The Tigers are the 2nd best team in the ACC and I think they are one of the 15 teams in the country.  In addition, Clemson is one of the toughest places to play in the country for a big game, which this is.  Clemson is currently favored by 9 or 10 and considering Ponder didn't throw until yesterday, I don't think that's near enough.  

I expect Clemson's C.J. Spiller to put on a Heisman-worthy show.  Clemson's offense will rip off big score after big score.  And I think FSU's offense will be forced to throw every down to keep up.  Clemson will force 2 or 3 turnovers and Ponder will look off.  Clemson will get 7.8 yards per play (550 yards if they get 70 plays).  I don't buy for a second that the defense will play better because of Mickey's retirement.  They need coaching, not more effort.  They already play with tremendous effort.  FSU will get about 5.9 per play (about 410 yards if they get 70 plays).  We're gonna see one of the best defenses in the country.  Clemson has an elite defensive line and a tremendous secondary.  Their linebackers range from very good to above average.  And even though Clemson's offense is merely good or above average, but FSU's defense is so brutal, that Clemson will score and put tremendous pressure on the Florida State offense.  Without a healthy Ponder, and facing their first true road test in a hostile environment, FSU's offense, though elite, will have the best game against the Clemson defense in Death Valley.  CU's defense has only yielded 14 offensive points at home this year (to TCU).  

I'll say 41-27 Clemson.  Chance of winning:  22%  

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