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Noles News 10.14.13: FSU preps for Clemson

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Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

The game at Clemson is the biggest ACC game since FSU joined the league. I've heard other arguments, but in my opinion, they're off. More on that later this week.

-FSU is favored over Clemson by 2.5 or 3 points, depending on where you look. This isn't all that surprising, as I thought the line would be within a field goal either way. Vegas seems to be losing confidence in Clemson's offense, perhaps because of its second weak performance in the last four weeks (see also: N.C. State).

Our friend Larry Williams was tweeting about Clemson's much-improved defense, and specifically, its improved front-7 when he tweeted this.

Defense Saves Tigers against BC - Shakin The Southland

Safety is still a big problem however. Robert Smith did have a good day but Jayron Kearse did not, and was eventually replaced by an injured Travis Blanks, who we'd rather have rested. Safety play is the one thing holding this defense back from being really damn good. For two weeks you could say we may have shut the opponent out if the safeties had done better.

That's from STS, and those guys are never afraid to rip the Tigers. Their front seven is much improved, as the young pups have grown up. FSU fans will bee reminded of the change that happened from 2010 to 2011 up front for FSU as the young guys matured.

-I have to think all the pressure is on Clemson to win this game. Talk all off-season was of a potential national title, and the Tigers were the pick to win the league. Boyd graduates after this year, nobody expects Sammy Watkins to stay, and Chad Morris very well could leave. Next year they must face Jameis in Tallahassee. Clemson does return a lot from its team in 2014, but Boyd and Watkins are so important that the dropoff will be unavoidable.

Box Scorin', Week 7: In which South Carolina takes its sweet time (and Arkansas', too) - Football Study Hall

Syracuse pounded out 362 yards rushing on 9.1 per carry in a 24–10 win over N.C. State, most allowed on the ground by N.C. State this century. Two Orange backs, Jeremy Smith and Prince-Tyson Gulley, went over 100 yards apiece, and quarterback Terrel Hunt came within striking distance at 92 yards.

In the first half against Boston College, Clemson failed to score on five separate trips into B.C. territory, on drives that resulted in two fumbles, two turnovers on downs and a missed field goal. (Boston College led at the half, 7–3.) In the second half, the Tigers were three-for-three on the Eagles' side of the field, producing two touchdowns and successfully killing the clock on a 24–14 win.

Pittsburgh quarterback Tom Savage was sacked eight times at Virginia Tech, leaving Tech with more sacks for the season (27) than any other FBS defense. (On the other hand, Savage has taken more sacks than any quarterback except Idaho's Chad Chalich.)

Jeremy Hill rushed for 121 yards on 6.4 per carry in LSU's win over Florida, joining Todd Gurley as the only individual backs over 100 yards against the Gators the last two years. (Hill also had a reception for 30 yards, the longest gain of the day for either offense.) Altogether, LSU was the first team this season to dent Florida's defense for 300 total yards, and averaged more yards per play (5.84) than any opposing offense since Furman in November 2011.

Speaking of Florida, I had the chance to see them at LSU this weekend in person. BR is a lot of fun. Jeremy Hill is crazy good. My thougths on both teams in this comment here.

Who is the favorite for the SEC East now?

Clemson: The Numbers - Tomahawk Nation
Excellent breakdown of Clemson and FSU in the fanpost section.

The 16 problems with Jon Wilner's Week 8 AP Top 25 ballot - Alligator Army
Jon Wilner is bad at ranking college football teams. The AP poll does not count.

Ohio Sate offered Minnesota offensive tackle recruit Frank Ragnow, a top target of FSU, Wisconsin and Arkansas. Keep an eye on that.