The matchup in Death Valley went exactly as expected, the Tigers scored on its very first possession and took an early lead, 7-0. The Seminoles’ defense was able to force a quick 4-and-out on the Tigers second drive, but Clemson scored on its very next possession. It appeared the game was about to get ugly pretty fast and it did, as Florida State lost to the Tigers, 45-14.
Clemson overwhelming FSU's offensive line, as was completely expected.— Bud Elliott (@BudElliott3) October 12, 2019
Alex Hornibrook entered the game for Florida State’s third possession and threw an interception on what should have been a wide open touchdown to wide receiver Tre’Shaun Harrison.
The second quarter was more of the same: a Clemson touchdown and another quick three-and-out for Florida State. The Tigers officially covered the spread, 28-0 and there were still nine minutes left in the first half.
There were two positives on the defensive side of the ball: Hamsah Nasrildeen intercepted a Trevor Lawrence pass, but Florida State failed to capitalize and once again had to punt. The Seminoles also stopped the Tigers attempt to go for the touchdown on 4th and 2, but just three plays later, Blackman’s pass was tipped and intercepted. Blackman attempted to make the tackle taking down Keyshawn Helton in the process who had to be carted off the field sporting an air cast.
Keyshawn Helton just mouthed “Don’t quit, don’t quit” to his teammates as he is being carted off the field. That’s really nice to see from a culture standpoint. #FSU— Ariya Massoudi (@AriyaMassoudi) October 12, 2019
The Florida State offense didn’t make it past the 50-yard line in the first half, but the defense appeared to finally find its footing by shutting down the Tigers in the red zone on back-to-back possessions after Clemson missed its field goal attempt.
The Seminoles’ second half didn’t start any better. James Blackman overthrew Cam Akers on what would have likely been a touchdown. The Tigers scored on its next possession and Florida State’s next drive ended in a pick-six leading Clemson to take a cushy, 42-0 lead. And while, I REALLY, really wish I was making this up, the Seminoles’ NEXT drive was only one play and ended when Cam Akers rushed for 15-yards and fumbled. Luckily, the Tigers fumbled and put it right back into the hands of Florida State, but once again, the Seminoles couldn’t make it past the 50-yard line and had to punt the ball.
Bright spots: Florida State wasn’t shut out and finally scored its first touchdown (and made it past the 50-yard line) with two minutes left in the third quarter. Hornibrook connected with Tamorrion Terry for a 64-yard touchdown reception.
And Khalon Laborn capped the scoring with a 40-yard score in the fourth quarter, his first career TD.