No. 11 Florida State Seminoles at No. 21 Clemson Tigers
Saturday, 9/24/11, 3:30 PM EST, TV: ESPN
Opening Point Spread: Florida State -3
Current Betting Line: Clemson -2
Opening Total: 49.5
Current Total: 50.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Florida State dropped its prime-time matchup with Oklahoma, 23-13, failing to cover as 3.5-point home underdogs. The Seminoles must now try and bounce back without the services of starting quarterback EJ Manuel, who injured his non-throwing shoulder in the loss. Injuries have ravaged this team up and down the roster and second-year head coach Jimbo Fisher knows it comes with the territory. “It affects you,” Fisher stated this week during practice. “Injuries are part of football.” The program had just four scholarship receivers on the practice field in Tallahassee in the first practice this week. Florida State is 6-5 ATS as an underdog the last two-plus seasons.
The Seminoles lead the all-time series, 17-7, but have lost their last four games at Clemson. Florida State’s last win at Death Valley came in 2001. The team will now get its second opportunity to post its first win over a ranked opponent, but both of its wins in such games came on the road last year. Defensively, the unit has been incredible, ranking fifth nationally in total defense. The pass defense has allowed fewer than 200 yards passing in each of the first three games.
Clemson came away with a 38-24 come-from-behind win last week against the Auburn Tigers, led by the passing exploits of quarterback Tajh Boyd as four-point home favorites. He completed 30 of 42 passes for 386 yards and four touchdowns, giving him 10 scores through the air in three games. The offense has been great the entire 2011 campaign thus far, ranking ninth with 522.7 yards of total offense a game. In each of the last two contests, the Tigers have had at least 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing. Clemson is 0-5 ATS when the line is between plus-three and minus-three.
The Tigers have unquestionably been a second half team this year, outscoring opponents by a 61-12 margin. Clemson held Auburn to just three points and 150 yards in the final 30 minutes last week. Don’t expect the high-scoring to continue against one of the top defensive clubs in the nation, while the program has scored 35 or more points in its first three games for only the second time in school history. Running back Andre Ellington has gained 300 rushing yards in three games thus far, ranking 36th in the nation in the category. Clemson will be looking to start a season 4-0 for the sixth time since the 1971 campaign.
Bettors will likely back the Tigers due to the home team being 11-2 ATS in the last 13 meetings, while the Seminoles are 0-7 ATS in Clemson.
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