Clemson, Florida State Preview Capsule
No. 22 Clemson (1-1) at No. 1 Florida State (2-0), 8:18 p.m. (ABC)
Line: Florida State by 16 1/2
Series Record: Florida State leas 19-8
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Florida State or Clemson have represented the Atlantic Division in the ACC championship game the past five years. The winner of this matchup has played in the title game in each of those five years. The Tigers dropped from their No. 16 ranking after a season-opening loss to No. 13 Georgia, but an upset of the No. 1 team in the nation would surely move them back up the polls. Florida State used the 51-14 win at Clemson last year to propel itself to a national championship. The Seminoles are the top team in the country, but have not been as dominant. A decisive victory would answer a lot of questions.
Florida State left tackle Cam Erving versus Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley. The two seniors have been going against each other for years and there are no secrets. Erving was the ACC offensive lineman of the year in 2013 and Beasley is an All-American that leads all active players in FBS with 23 sacks. The entire Florida State offensive line is comprised of seniors and the Clemson defensive line is the strength of that side of the ball. Beasley and his teammates will want to rattle Florida State quarterback Sean Maguire in the first half. Erving and the line must have a strong game to help the untested quarterback.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Clemson: Quarterback Deshaun Watson is not the starter, but the freshman was rated the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the country by several recruiting services. The Tigers are expected to play two quarterbacks and Watson brings a level of mobility that Florida State must account for. He’s been known to take more chances throwing the football.
Florida State: Quarterback Sean Maguire will make the first start of his career because of a first-half suspension of Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston. Maguire has to keep the game close until Winston can return after halftime. Maguire has only thrown 26 passes in college and was not a prolific passer in high school. Maguire has a strong arm, but has never been in this type of high-pressure situation.
FACTS & FIGURES
Florida State has a school-record 18-game win streak and has scored 80 more touchdowns than its opponents during that span. ... FSU senior Karlos Williams has started at running back, safety and linebacker during his career. ... The Seminoles haven’t trailed in a regular season game since September 28, 2013. ... Clemson averaged more than 40 points per game and 500 yards per game in 2013 and 2012. ... The Tigers had three defensive players named preseason first-team All-ACC, the most of any team. ... Clemson has never defeated the No. 1 team in the nation in four attempts.