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Florida State 13, Clemson 23: Ten thoughts

Florida State lost to Clemson, as expected, but FSU fans should be encouraged about the future.

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

1. Florida State played one of its best games of the season and yet it was soundly beaten, outgained by 151 yards. That's where this Florida State team is in this rebuilding season. FSU fans aren't happy with the result, but they have to be thrilled with the great effort of the players.

2. I've covered Florida State wins and losses, and I've never seen Jimbo Fisher so proud of his team after a loss. That speaks to the knowledge that Clemson had a clearly superior team, and that Fisher's team is extremely young. He knows the future is bright.

3. The defense. Wow. FSU mixed up its looks, it brought pressure, it played coverage, it was physical and nasty and it bottled up an elite offense for about 50 minutes of the game. But defending 85 plays against one of the finest quarterbacks in college football is really tough. That was awesome to watch.

4. Florida State has scored six offensive touchdowns in its four road games. Six. It's ugly, but not unexpected.

5. I don't believe Dalvin Cook is anywhere close to full strength. I don't know if the TV broadcast showed it, but there were two runs where I think a healthy Cook easily pulls away from the defense. And yet, Cook still managed 194 yards on the ground and has a great chance to break FSU's single-season rushing record.

6. Why the calls for Everett Golson? Neither Florida State quarterback is good. FSU has average ACC QB play, no matter if Sean Maguire or Golson are throwing the ball. Everyone loves the backup QB, but continually rotating average quarterbacks does not solve anything.

7. Florida State needs to quickly rebound from this loss. The Seminoles are not good enough to overlook NC State next weekend and win.

8. FSU still has a good shot at nine or ten regular season wins. That's what most who cover the team and Vegas predicted.

9. Fisher spoke about the hurt he saw in his players after the game, and how he saw the loss meant something to them. FSU has an incredible amount of young talent. It makes young mistakes. A year from now, it will still have a lot of talent but less youth.

10. The drainage system underneath Clemson's field is awesome. The town was mud city thanks to all the rain it had received in recent weeks, but the playing surface was in great condition.