(7) Florida St. at (2) Clemson
Time: 2:30 PM CST
Spread: CLE -27
Odds c/o 5dimes
The No. 2 ranked Clemson Tigers improved to 5-0 last outing with a narrow 21-20 victory over North Carolina. In Week 7, the Tigers play host to Florida State as 27-point favorites. The game will kick off at 2:30 PM CST Saturday on ABC, and it has an over/under set at 59.5 total points according to college football oddsmakers at 5dimes.
The 1-point loss to North Carolina had to have been troubling for Clemson. Its first four games were not particularly close at all, with no teams coming within two touchdowns. The Tigers we able to halt a 2-point conversion following a 38-yard TD pass that put the Tar Heels within a point. The final 9:54 of the game was scoreless. Trevor Lawrence threw 18 of 30 for 206 yards and a touchdown while rushing another 11 times for 45 yards and a rushing touchdown. Travis Etienne had 14 carries for 67 yards and a touchdown, as well. Tee Higgins did most of the work at receiver with 129 of the team’s 206 yards and scored its lone passing touchdown. Clemson fell from its No. 1 ranking to No. 2 after barely holding off UNC.
Clemson ranks No. 20 in the nation in scoring at 38 points per game, and it holds its opponents to just 12 per. Clemson ranks No. 45 in pass offense at 263.4 yards per game and it is top-25 in rushing with 222.6 yards per game. Lawrence has thrown for 1,131 yards on the season with eight TD passes and six interceptions. He has been sacked just three times through five games, though, and his 61.8 percent passing helps account for a pretty solid passer rating of 143.7, despite the interceptions.
Etienne has been relatively unstoppable. He has 67 rush attempts for 462 yards (nearly 7 yards per) and five of the team’s 14 rushing touchdowns. Lawrence has four rushing TDs and 100 yards on his 22 carries. Clemson averages 6.1 yards-per-attempt as a team, and it has its No. 2 and No. 3 rushers both over 100 yards on the season. Chez Mellusi leads the team in yards-per-carry at 9.5, but he has attempted just 13 rushes.
Higgins has been so much of the passing attack. He has 505 yards on 22 catches (23 yards per) and three of the team’s 10 passing touchdowns. Justyn Ross trails at No. 2 with just 218 yards and a touchdown, while Amari Rodgers has added another 139 yards on 10 catches with two TDs. Etienne ranks No. 5 on the team in receiving yards with 90 on 10 catches out of the backfield. The Tigers have a very versatile and successful offense, and it has no problem scoring the ball, but how will it fare against a tough, top defense like that of the Gators?
The Florida State Seminoles are 3-2 after consecutive wins over Louisville and NC State. Both those victories came in Tallahassee, but now Florida State takes to the road against the No. 2 team in the nation in Clemson. Florida State lost its only matchup with an AP ranked team thus far when it fell 24-31 to Virginia Tech, which was ranked No. 25 at that time. The Seminoles are coming off a bye week.
Florida State last defeated NC State 31-13 in Week 5. Alex Hornibrook threw 29 of 40 for 316 yards and three touchdowns, and Florida State rushed for 53 yards, though Hornibrook cost the Seminoles 40 yards on his 10 attempts, averaging negative-4 yards-per-carry. Cam Akers did fairly well with 83 yards on 17 carries and the lone rushing touchdown. Florida State got four receptions for 91 yards from Ontaria Wilson and 77 yards on five catches from Tamorrion Terry. The Seminoles had eight players with two catches or more in the game.
Hornibrook has thrown 44 of 60 on the season (73.3 percent) with five touchdowns and no interceptions. He has averaged 9.5 yards-per-attempt and is better across the board in every category than James Blackman had been. Akers averages 5.1 yards-per-carry and leads the team with 115 of the 180 total rush attempts. He also has seven of the eight rushing touchdowns. Terry leads all receivers with 384 yards receiving and four touchdowns, while Keyshawn Helton ranks No. 2 in yardage with 232 yards and No. 2 in touchdowns with three. Florida State has scored 14 TDs via the pass and just eight on the ground.
Kicker Ricky Aguayo has had his struggles. He is just 4 of 8 on the season on field goals, with all four misses coming from beyond 40-yards, at least. He has knocked down all 20 of his PATs.