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FSU vs. Clemson: Staff predictions

We make our picks— what’s yours?

Clemson v Florida State Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Doom. Gloom. Hope? Even...optimism? Don’t ever say that we here at Tomahawk Nation are of one mind. Our varied opinions as to how this weekend’s Florida State vs. Clemson game will go are included below, for your consideration— and comment.

Evan Johnson:

This is going to be rough. The biggest difference in this game, of course, is FSU’s offensive line matched with Clemson’s defensive line. If FSU breaks 200 yards on the game I’ll be very impressed. The FSU defense should have a bit of success against the Clemson offense largely due to the talent up front but FSU just doesn’t have the talent to match up with the rest of Clemson’s offense.

Clemson 35 - FSU 3


Jon Marchant:

Clemson’s program is in a much better place right now, and they’re gonna send FSU to a different, but also better place.

Clemson 42 - 17 FSU


I love upsets and anything can happen on any given... no? Clemson is known for Clemsoning and this could... no? But if Purdue can beat Ohio State, well...

Nah. It’s just gonna be bad. Clemson runs up the score late, and I don’t blame ’em one bit. Hopefully no serious injuries happen and the atmosphere impresses the croots on OVs.

Clemson 48, FSU 17


Game will be tighter than the final score but turnovers and poor offensive line play doom the Noles.

Clemson 42, FSU 10

Dakota Moyer:

Clemson 31, Florida State 10

Trey Rowland:

This is Kane.

I told you, it’s Kane.

Kane was an athletic specimen. Blessed with the gifts of size and agility, he had a physical advantage over almost all of the competitors that he faced in his totally real and legitimate sport. His offense wasn’t necessarily complicated. In fact, its effectiveness was actually rooted in its simplicity....its Lethal Simplicity, if you will. Kane rode this blend of athleticism and brutally effective offense to a string of multiple championships, and a future Hall of Fame berth in his absolutely not fake and very authentic sport.

In many ways, he is the embodiment of what Willie Taggart wants Florida State to become. But, there is a caveat. Kane wasn’t always Kane.

This is Dr. Isaac Yankem, D.D.S.

Are you guys even paying attention? I already told you this was Dr. Isaac Yankem.


This is the exact same person who would evolve into Kane. However, unlike Kane, Isaac Yankem kinda sucked. You could see the framework was there though. There were flashes of greatness, but the whole product was inconsistent. It was the same athlete, but he was still a work-in-progress. He would go on to be a great and respected champion, but it would just take some time.

Florida State in 2018 is Isaac Yankem. Eventually, Taggart’s plan is to get the program to Kane. Kane would stand a fighting chance against Clemson and might even tombstone Trevor Lawrence back to the Avatar world of Pandora from whence he came.

But, Isaac Yankem is screwed.

Clemson - 31, Florida State Demented Dentists 17


FSU 21 Clemson 20;

Don’t ask me how.

Kyle Griffis:

Clemson - A lot, Florida State - Not so much.

Trevor Lawrence is the body double for Charlotte Byrde in Ozark. You can’t convince me otherwise, as they have never been seen in the same room together.

Austin DeWitt:

No one gave Willie Rocky a shot against Dabo Drago. Drago came out and pummeled him in the first round and it looked over from the jump. That was until late in the second round when the pride of Ashburn Georgia, Terminator Terry Rocky caught Drago with a right hook and showed the world that he was not a machine. Dabo Drago bleeds. They continued to exchange blows throughout the match, but Brian Burns Balboa held his ground and the crowd began to get into it more and more. Then, in the fourth quarter final round, D.J. Matthews the Italian Stallion landed the knockout blow and emerged victorious against all odds, effectively ending the cold war.

FSU 28, Clemson 27


The good news is that you don’t have to wait all day to watch Florida State play. The bad news is you only have to wait ’till noon to watch Clemson manhandle Florida State. I just can’t see the offense doing anything in this game.

Clemson - A lot, FSU - A little

David Visser:

Unlike so many Florida State fans, I’m weirdly kinda looking forward to this game— but probably not for the reasons you might think. FSU, in years past, has had a definite habit of playing to the level of its competition. And while Clemson has certainly recruited at an elite level, the Seminoles, despite the Fisher debacle, have still recruited very well, too. Translation: there’s still a lot of talent in garnet and gold, even compared to the personnel boasted by the Tigers.

I’m curious as to how Taggart and company will employ that talent; I doubt that they don’t have at least one play similar to the Miami double-pass saved up for CU. Taggart has called the last couple of games quite effectively, and I’m interested to see if/how that continues against Clemson. I think that taking shots to Terry and Gavin on the outside and utilizing quick hitters to Matthews and McKitty over the middle is the way to go. Adding some jet-sweep action could play a part in the attack as well, to keep Clemson honest. And then add the trickery (anyone who still uses the made-up word “trickeration,” ugh.)

Simply put: you’ve got to get the ball out of Francois’ hands quickly, because the mismatch for FSU up front on offense is tough to overstate. Does Florida State have a chance? Yes. Upsets happen every single weekend. The ’Noles need to win the turnover battle. And have those shot plays work. And not suffer more injuries. And, frankly, get a little lucky. All of those things happening is not too much for which to hope. But I think they are too much to realistically expect.

Clemson 30, FSU 17

Check out the Nolecast for predictions from our Bud Elliott and Ingram Smith.