Florida State Explodes in Second Half to Tame Clemson, 49-37

TALLAHASSEE, FL - SEPTEMBER 22: James Wilder Jr. #32 of the Florida State Seminoles runs away from Bashaud Breeland #17 of the Clemson Tigers during their game at Doak Campbell Stadium on September 22, 2012 in Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)


Florida State had to overcome a lot Saturday night -- a near-perfect first half by Clemson's offense which featured a bevy of trick plays and no penalties; a key turnover; several costly penalties and two missed field goals. But a ferocious comeback erased all that and then some as the Seminoles emerged with an entertaining 49-37 victory on the big stage of ABC Saturday night football.

The Noles piled up a remarkable 667 yards of offense -- a breathtaking 9 yards per play. EJ Manuel silenced critics on this night, with a 380-yard passing performance AND 100 yards rushing and had ABC announcer Brent Musburger talking Heisman.

The FSU defense started slow, but finished very strong, stifling Clemson for most of the second half. The Tigers ended up with 5.5 yards per play.

Clemson led 28-14 with 11:48 to go in the third-quarter, but FSU then exploded on a 35-3 run to take control. Key plays included a long Kelvin Benjamin run on a reverse and a Lamarcus Joyner kickoff return to the Clemson 10.

Chris Thompson also rushed for more than 100 yards and was the Seminoles' leading receiver with 8 catches for 79 yards.

The Noles travel to Tampa next week to face South Florida.

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