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Staff predictions: Florida State Seminoles vs. Clemson Tigers

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FSU’s winning percentage of 74.2% is the 4th highest in NCAA Football since 1976

NCAA Football: Miami at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida State Seminoles travel to Memorial Stadium in South Carolina to face the unranked Clemson Tigers Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.

Once again the Seminoles are the underdogs versus the unranked Tigers, against whom the Noles have a 20-13 series winning record.

However, the unranked Clemson Tigers have won the last 5 games in a row against the ‘Noles.

According to DraftKings, Florida State is now a 9.5 point underdog vs. unranked Clemson, with the over/under set at 47.5 points.

Your Tomahawk Nation staff, as they do every week before a game, have broken down the film, charted every All-22 play-by-play snap, performed A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) virtual simulations of the individual man-to-man matchups [by position], compiled, sorted, and analyzed all of the data, and have come to the conclusion that the Noles maybe could win despite being a 10 point dog this Saturday.

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Florida State Seminoles vs. Clemson Tigers:

Pre-Game Coverage from Tomahawk Nation

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After looking over and digesting all of this FREE PREGAME CONTENT, please read what your TOMAHAWK NATION PROGNOSTICATORS think about this Saturday’s showdown, and then please share your opinions and thoughts about this game.

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NoleThruandThru (Season prediction record: 5-2):

The three-game winning streak and newfound confidence for FSU has been refreshing to see. The ‘Noles took care of business against umASS and despite having plenty of mistakes to work on, this is clearly a different team and coaching staff than we saw six weeks ago. FSU will need to continue breaking off big plays and I have faith that the game plan will be solid.

FSU enters this weekend with some nice momentum, while Clemson’s struggles have been well-documented throughout the season. I really hope D.J. Ukelele will be on the field the whole time. That being said, there is still a significant talent disparity on the two rosters, despite the injury issues Clemson is dealing with (good luck on getting any kind of sympathy from any FSU fan regarding injury luck, by the way). This should be a competitive, close game. As much as I want to pick Florida State here, I can’t get my hopes that high just yet.

Prove me wrong, ‘Noles!!!

Clemson 24, FSU 23

LastNoleOfKrypton (4-3):

This is the second time that FSU has been a double-digit underdog on the road and this is the second time that FSU will be pulling all the upset. I expect Clemson’s OL to have a very hard time blocking a fired-up front four for FSU leading to a couple of strip-sack opportunities to set up some short fields for FSU.

FSU at times will look like it can’t get anything going on the ground but a couple of counters into an ill-timed run blitz will lead to some big plays in the ground game.

Noles 27, Tigers 21

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Trey Rowland (Season prediction record: 4-1):

All you people, can’t you see, can’t you see?

Can Florida State win in Death Valley?

Both programs are down, need the Noles to make it right.

To win this game on Saturday night

And they will — a larger-than-life upset is on the way.

Backstreet Boys 24, Clemson BB Mak Tribute Band 21

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Brian Pellerin (Season prediction record: 4-3):

Those of you who have read my weekly betting picks know I have completely soured on Clemson. After weeks of assuming they’d turn it around, I decided to turn around myself and start picking against them — to much success might I add.

This Clemson team is just not in the same stratosphere as what we’re used to seeing. They’ve got major deficiencies on offense and the defense is starting to slide thanks to an influx of injuries.

On top of how I feel about Clemson, I really like what Florida State has put on the field recently. Jordan Travis has been a steadying force for this offense that has really leaned into its strength on the ground. That along with Clemson’s inability to move the ball will keep the scoring low and I think FSU has enough plays to eek this one out.

Florida State 17, Clemson 16

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Tommy (Season prediction record: 4-3):

(We ran some mesh.) It was a monster mesh

(We ran some mesh.) It was a graveyard.. smesh?

(We did more mesh.)

I could imagine Kevin murmuring this in his sleep with a ghoulish face on a whiteboard.

Florida State. Clemson. Halloween weekend on the road. What better way could you celebrate this holiday than planting some ghastly tiger grass in the sod cemetery at home?

The Seminoles are on a three-game hot streak and the Tigers are coming off a loss to Pitt. Although there is no Pickett under center I do believe Jordan Travis has the ability to move the ball downfield and will attack the middle with a few Tarot cards up his sleeve. The defense should hold strong against an offense that has sputtered while breaking in a new quarterback—the question is— can FSU run the ball effectively and stay ahead on down and distance? A hungry Seminoles team will take the field on Saturday and with the hard preparation put in and a little luck, good results should follow.

Florida State 28, Clemson 24

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CoachAB (Season prediction record: 5-1):

Let's get it on! Strength versus strength. An underachieving program versus a team on the rise. #Climb vs #AllIn.

In reality, I believe this game comes down to Mike Norvell and Kenny Dillingham versus Brett Venables. The chess matchup of predicting fire zone pressures and is going to be a lot of fun to watch. If FSU can hit it at the right time there are chunk plays to be had.

Outside of this fun chess matchup the secondary needs to hold up in 1v1 situations and come up with some wins. Don’t let the Clemson passing attack get right against you.

Running for 225 yards, throwing for another 150, limiting Clemson’s offensive possessions, and lastly creating a turnover or two lead to victory.

FSU 22, Clemson 17

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FrankDNole (Season prediction record: 3-4)

Unranked Clemson has now learned the difficulty of maintaining a successful and consistent Top 5 football program for a sustained period of time.

Don’t get me wrong, Clemson’s recent achievements are very impressive. Good for them and for the ACC brand. But what did they really accomplish in the grand scheme of things? I think it was some cute number, like 5 or 6 years in a row in the Top 5 rankings.

That’s adorable.

Those 5 or 6 years are not even half of the years that FSU finished their football season ranked in the Top 5 poll, which FSU did for 14 years in a row, and something that will likely never be repeated.

A win by the 3-4 Noles over the unranked Clemson Tigers would signify a return to, at minimum, an acceptable level of improvement that Nole fans have been craving for the last few years.

Getting to a .500 overall record after losing the first 4 games with a win over their unranked conference rival Clemson Tigers, in a nationally regionally locally shown game on ESPN at 3:30 p.m. would be really...

The Florida State University Seminoles 31, Minimum Wage Dabo’s 24

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Jon Marchant (Season prediction record: 5-2)

I just don’t think it’s a good match-up for FSU’s offense. I think they’ll struggle to score points. Turnovers could decide this one. In the end I think Clemson just has too much talent on defense and I don’t trust FSU’s defense yet. Can’t win if you can’t score.

Clemson 23, FSU 13

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Perry Kostidakis (Season prediction record: 5-2)

It’s impressive to consider the trajectory of the perception of this Florida State team — a month ago, saying that FSU had a legitimate shot at beating Clemson would have been followed by a round of laughter, awkward pause, and then look of concern.

FSU has sneakily put together an efficient offense, benefiting immensely from consistency at the offensive line and the elevated play of quarterback Jordan Travis. That’s going to be key for any shot at upsetting the Tigers, with the game looking like a race to who can manage to hit 28.

This is Florida State’s first true rivalry game under Mike Norvell (he missed last year’s Miami game after testing positive for COVID-19), and as badly as I want to go with the safe bet and prevent NT&T from being the only person correct this week, I just can’t shake the feeling that he’ll be eager to make a statement during an opportunity that wasn’t thought possible before this season.

Florida State 24, Clemson 13

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Game notes via Seminoles.com

  • FSU is the first team in the 69-year history of the ACC to win its next three games after starting a season 0-4.
  • The Seminoles have rushed for at least 200 yards in six of their first seven games this season and are one of eight teams with six 200-yard rushing games this year. The last time FSU produced at least six 200-yard rushing games in a seven-game span was 1995 when the Seminoles rushed for at least 200 yards in the first six games of the season.
  • In the 21 seasons from 1995-2020, Florida State had at least six 200-yard rushing games in a season five times (1995, 2002, 2012, 2013, 2017). FSU posted four 200-yard rushing games in nine contests in 2020.
  • The Seminoles’ average of 6.91 yards per rush in October is 1st in the nation. FSU’s season average of 5.90 yards per rush is 1st in the ACC and 5th nationally, and its 230.3 rushing yards per game are 2nd in the ACC and 13th nationally.
  • FSU has produced a 100-yard rusher in six of its first seven games of 2021, one of only seven teams in the country to have six different games with a 100-yard rusher this year. Running back Jashaun Corbin has four 100-yard games, the 3rd-highest total in the ACC, and quarterback Jordan Travis has two 100-yard games, 6th-most in the conference.
  • The Seminoles have converted 16 consecutive red zone trips, scoring a total of 99 points. FSU was 1-for-1 with a touchdown in the red zone against the Louisville Cardinals, 6-for-6 against the Syracuse Orange, scoring four touchdowns and two field goals, 3-for-3 at the North Carolina Tar Heels with three touchdowns, and 6-for-6 against UMass with five touchdowns and one field goal.
  • FSU ranks 2nd in the ACC and 20th in the country with a 73.1 Red Zone touchdown percentage this season (19-of-26).
  • Florida State has been flagged for five or fewer penalties in four consecutive games, the longest streak against all FBS opponents by the Seminoles since 1995 (3 at the Virginia Cavaliers, 5 at UNC, 5 vs. the Maryland Terrapins, 4 at the Florida Gators). FSU’s average of 3.7 penalties per game in October is 2nd-best in the ACC and tied for 8th-lowest in the nation. » Florida State is tied for 9th in the country with five plays of at least 60 yards this season. FSU’s four rushing plays of at least 50 yards, three rushing plays of at least 60 yards and two rushing plays of at least 70 yards all rank 1st in the ACC and tied for 4th nationally.
  • FSU ranks 2nd in the ACC and 20th in the country with a 73.1 red zone touchdown percentage this season (19-of-26).
  • FSU ranks 2nd in the ACC and 11th nationally in red zone defense, allowing a score on 68.4 percent of drives that reach the red zone, and has held opponents to 4-of-8 (.500) red zone conversions in October, the best defensive stop rate in the ACC and 2nd-best defensive stop rate in the country.

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