Clemson football fans have been waiting to see what might happen if their offense and defense showed up on the same day. And while at times Saturday against Florida State it wasn’t always pretty, Clemson’s offense did enough to compliment its outstanding defense in a 30-20 victory over Florida State. The win was Clemson’s 32nd consecutive home win, the longest active streak in the country. It also improved the Tigers to 5-3 overall and 4-2 in the ACC. The Seminoles fell to 3-5 overall and 2-3 in conference play.
The Tigers got on the board first, courtesy of a 47-yard field goal by B.T. Potter with 5:32 remaining in the first quarter. That was the only success that Potter had in the kicking game as he missed his final three attempts from 49, 37, and 30 yards. After the game, head coach Dabo Swinney said he told Potter to dust off the shaky performance, adding that they wouldn’t have five wins without him.
Florida State’s offense, which did very little against the Tigers most of the day, grabbed the lead at the end of the opening quarter on a 1yd TD pass from Jordan Travis to Jashaun Corbin. The Tigers blocked the extra point, keeping the score at 6-3 Florida State after one.
From there, the Clemson defense flexed its muscle and took over the game. The only other offensive score by the Seminoles came midway through the 2nd quarter on a what appeared to be a busted assignment by the Tigers. Travis hooked up with running back Lawrance Toafili on a wheel route down the FSU sideline. Toafili was able to roll over a defender near the end zone and maintain his footing for a 75 yard touchdown, which gave the visitors a 13-10 lead with 8:14 remaining before halftime.
Taking out the two 75 yard scoring drives, Clemson limited FSU to 94 yards of total offense otherwise. The Seminoles gained just 244 yards total and only rushed for 68. Part of their struggles on the ground included a season high six sacks recorded by the Tigers.
Meantime, Clemson piled up 377 yards of offense with D.J. Uiagalelei completing 19-of-31 passes for 189 yards and 1 touchdown. He was also intercepted once and had a fumble returned for a score. FSU QB Jordan Travis was 14-of-22 for 176 yards and two scores. Clemson also finished with a two-to-one edge (22 to 11) in first downs.
But the game came down to the final play as Florida State tried to lateral its way down the field for a game winning touchdown. However, Clemson’s Barrett Carter recovered a fumble on the final lateral attempt by Jordan Travis at the FSU 3-yard line, scooped it up, and scrambled into the end zone as time expired to make the final margin 30-20.