DEATH VALLEY: A missed field goal with less than two minutes to play forced overtime, and Keon Coleman proved too much for the Tigers. Clemson had a chance to win the game with 1:45 to play after quarterback Cade Klubnik drove the Tigers down the field, but new kicker Jonathan Weitz missed the 29-yard attempt as No. 4 Florida State (4-0 overall, 2-0 ACC) defeated Clemson (2-2, 0-2) 31-24.
Klubnik completed 25-of-38 passes for 283 yards and a touchdown. Phil Mafah and Will Shipley had 67 and 69 yards rushing, respectively. Clemson had five players with over 30 yards receiving, including freshman Tyler Brown, who had five catches for 84 yards despite being injured early in the game. Clemson outgained Florida State in total offense 429 to 311.
The Tigers put the first points of the game on the board when Jonathan Weitz – Clemson’s starting kicker who was called up from Charleston earlier in the week – to attempt a 30-yard field goal, which he nailed to give Clemson a 3-0 lead with just a minute to play in the first quarter. Following a touchdown run from Klubnik, Clemson led 10-0 with 11:33 to play before halftime and eventually took a 17-14 lead into the locker room.
Florida St. got the ball to begin the second half, and Jordan Travis promptly hit a wide-open Johnny Wilson for a 41-yard pickup to the 34-yard line. Clemson’s defense gained its composure, however, and forced a 48-yard field goal that tied the game at 17-17 at the 12:00 minute mark of the third quarter. The Tigers’ defense forced a three-and-out on the Noles’ next possession, and the offense marched 77 yards down the field in 11 plays that took nearly five minutes off the clock. After picking up a quick first down, Klubnik raced for a 17-yard pickup to the FSU 47-yard line. On third-and-nine, he found Stellato on a slant for 12 yards to move the chains. A facemask penalty on FSU two plays later moved the ball to the 14-yard line, and Klubnik found Briningstool for a 13-yard gain and a first down. After no gain on first down, Shipley fought his way into the endzone for a 24-17 Clemson lead with 3:32 to play in the third quarter. Clemson forced yet another punt and Mafah found daylight for 46 yards on the first play of the drive, but Klubnik lost the ball when Kalen DeLoach hit him. DeLoach recovered the fumble and raced 56 yards for the score to tie the game at 24-24 with 31 seconds to play in the third quarter.
Late in the fourth quarter, Weitz missed a 29-yard field goal attempt that would’ve put the Tigers up with 1:45 to play. However, after giving up a 25-yard completion Wilson, Clemson’s defense stood tall to send the game to overtime. FSU got the ball first in overtime, and it took two plays for Travis to find Coleman for a 24-yard touchdown and a 31-24 lead.
Shipley’s first rush in overtime left the Tigers facing 3rd and inches. But Clemson failed to keep the drive alive on 4th and short as FSU wrapped up its first victory over the Tigers since 2014.
In his postgame comments, head coach Dabo Swinney revealed that offensive lineman Walker Parks will undergo season-ending surgery.
Clemson travels to Syracuse next weekend for a noon tilt with the Orange in the JWA Wireless Dome.
Story by Nikki Hood