The Florida State football team started off the contest in familiar territory... with horrible field position. After a special teams penalty, the Seminoles’ first possession began at their own 7-yard line where they were forced to a quick three-and-out. Florida State’s opening drive appeared to foreshadow an embarrassing escapade of events that would eventually transpire over the next couple of hours. After a 43-yard punt from Logan Tyler, the Tigers took over from the 50-yard line, but the FSU defense started off blazing and forced the Tigers to punt the ball away.
Luckily, the Tigers punt rolled into the end zone for touchback placing the ’Noles on the 20-yard line. As the Florida State offense approached Clemson territory, a high snap to from Alec Eberle combined with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty committed by RB Cam Akers, forced the Seminoles to face a daunting 2nd-and-43 from the FSU10. The Seminoles were unable to gain much yardage and punted the ball away.
The Seminoles defense continued to burn brighter and the Clemson offense was held to a second three-and-out. The roaring crowd in Doak Campbell stadium appeared to shake the Tigers and subsequently the punter shanked his 14- yard punt, placing the ’Noles in Tiger territory on the 49-yard line.
Things looked surprisingly good for the Seminoles as they were able to prevent the Tigers from putting up any points on the board, but as the second quarter started everything changed.
The Seminoles defense appeared to make another huge stop when they held Clemson to a 40-yard field goal attempt that went wide-right, but FSU DB Asante Samuel Jr negated the play after roughing the kicker giving the Tigers a new set of downs. Two plays later, Clemson made the Seminoles pay for their mistake and CU WR Tee Higgins scored a 7-yard touchdown giving the Tigers the lead, 7-0.
After the penalty on the field goal attempt, the momentum of the game appeared to shift in the Tigers favor and Clemson finally started to look like a team deserving of their number two ranking.
Despite Logan Tyler kicking a spectacular 49-yard punt to the CU14, the special teams woes continued and a 29-yard punt return from the Tigers’ Amari Rodgers put them on the 43-yard line.
Clemson’s offense had finally arrived and they started to expose a tired Seminoles’ defense. Their next drive was a 9-play, 58-yard drive that ended with another touchdown pass to Higgins, putting the Tigers up, 14-0.
The Florida State offense finally put together four successful plays...more than they had all game, but the Tigers called a timeout and iced away any momentum the Seminoles thought they might have had. Clemson received a costly penalty that gave the Seminoles a new set of downs, but Francois threw an interception and the Tigers took over from the FSU30.
On the Tigers next drive, Florida State DB Hamsah Nasrildeen was ejected for targeting as he clobbered Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawerence. The penalties continued to shower down as CB A.J Lytton was called for a blatantly obvious pass interference placing the Tigers on the FSU12. The drive ended with a 2-yard touchdown run by DT Christian Wilkins, putting Clemson ahead, 21-0.
Florida State’s anemic offense looked absolutely lifeless and they were forced to another quick three-and-out.
The Seminoles’ defense was gassed by the time the Tigers started their next scoring drive, and both Dontavious Jackson and Stanford Samuels III went down with injuries. Clemson took a commanding lead and scored a whopping 28 unanswered points during the second quarter alone.
The Florida State special teams continued to be an absolute disaster for the ’Noles. After another great punt by Logan Tyler, the FSU special teams missed tackle after tackle and allowed the Tigers to return the ball 34-yards to the FSU34. The Seminole defense was able to stop the Tigers however and Florida State kneeled the first half away.
The longest Florida State drive of the first half was only 9-plays for 35 yards. The Seminoles closed the first half with -4 rushing yards on 16 carries. Penalties continued to hurt Florida State and the team only had one more total yards than penalty yards.
The Tigers opened the second-half with a 28-yard punt return allowing Clemson to score just two plays later after Lawerence found Rodgers on a 58-yard touchdown pass and put the Tigers up, 35-0.
The special teams continued to destroy any hope for the Seminoles and punt returner D.J. Matthews fumbled, putting the ball in the hands of the Tigers defender on the FSU10. The defense was able to hold Clemson to a field goal and they now lead Florida State, 38-0.
On the Tigers next possession, Lawerence connected with Rodgers for another 68-yard touchdown and after a successful extra point, the Tigers led, 45-0.
The Florida State offense finally made it into the red zone for the first time of the game, but was unable to score a touchdown. Facing 3rd and goal, WR Nyqwan Murray threw a punch and was disqualified. After a 15-yard penalty was accessed, Ricky Aguayo’s 35-yd field goal was good and Florida State avoided a shut out at home, 45-3.
The Tigers removed Lawerence and put backup QB Chase Brice into the game. He put together a scoring drive that consisted of a 61-yard pass to Diondre Overton. The Tigers increased the score, 52-3.
As the fourth quarter started, Clemson put another 7 points on the board giving them a 59-3 lead.
Deondre Francois went down with an apparent injury and was replaced by backup James Blackman.
The Seminoles’ emotions continued to get the best of them and the second player of the game, Zaquandre White was ejected and escorted off the field by police officers after throwing a punch. After the ejection, Blackman found WR Keyshawn Helton for a 73-yard touchdown and decreased the Seminoles impending defeat to 59-10.
The Florida State offense ended the game with -21 rushing yards on 35 attempts.