(3) Clemson Tigers at (12) Florida State Seminoles
Clemson: They may be unbeaten, but in all honesty, I haven’t been impressed with them. Yes, they may be considered a playoff team and title contender, but they haven’t been as sharp as they were last year. I’ve stated this quite a bit in the last few weeks, but when I watch this Clemson team, I see a lot of last year’s Ohio State Buckeyes. Remember, they would struggle throughout the game and somehow they would find a way to get the win regardless. Entering week nine, the Clemson Tigers sit at 7-0 and they are in a position to control their own destiny at this point. Their bye week came at the right time last week and it’s looking like Wayne Gallman will be good to go and he’ll be key for them moving forward. It’s a rivalry type of week and they’ll travel to Tallahassee for a showdown with a Florida State team looking to hand Clemson their first loss.
Florida State: They were expected to make a run at the division title, but I still think they are another year away from doing so. They’re 5-2 and it’s tough to get into the playoffs with more than one loss. The Seminoles are 5-2 and those two losses came in the conference. A blowout loss to Louisville in week three of the season and then a nailbiter at home to the North Carolina Tar Heels. For Florida State to even get to the ACC title game, They would basically have to win out and hope both Clemson and Louisville both lose at least once more to create a three-team deadlock at the top of the standings. The resurgence of the Seminoles defense has them clicking along with Dalvin Cook returning to form. This is the biggest game of the year for Florida State and it always calls for good football when Clemson comes to town for a Saturday night tilt.
Clemson Player To Watch: Christian Wilkins– He made a few big plays against North Carolina State and he’ll need to be getting into the backfield to shut down Cook, get pressure on Francois and not let them get into a groove.
Florida State Player(s) To Watch: The defensive front four– It’s safe to say they’ve received a jolt of energy in their last two games and they’ll need it tonight. Pressuring Watson and stopping Gallman will be the two main keys for the Seminoles.
Prediction: This is the premiere rivalry in college football and I say that because when they face off, something is always on the line. I like Florida State to win this one at home. Florida State 31 Clemson 28