Instant Halftime Analysis: No. 5 Florida St. 27, Clemson 7

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – First half analysis from Death Valley as No.3 Clemson trails No. 5 Florida St. 27-7 at intermission.

The Tigers turned the ball over three times in the half, a season-high, and the defense has been burned by several big plays.

Player of the half: FSU freshman quarterback Jameis Winston has been as good as advertised, despite throwing a first half interception. Winston has completed 14-of-22 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns. He has also escaped Clemson’s pressure several times – three times on third down – and found open receivers to keep drives alive.

Stat of the half:Three turnovers for the Tigers is a season-high, but maybe the biggest stats of the half belong to Clemson’s offense, and not in a good way. Clemson quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
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has completed just 11-of-24 passes for 99 yards. He has a quarterback rating of 85.9.

What’s working for the Tigers:It would be fair to say – nothing.

What’s not working for the Tigers:Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd is off. Way off. Think back to a few South Carolina games when he looks rattled, and you get the idea. He has thrown to spots where there are no receivers, and he has locked on to his primary receiver way too much. He had an early fumble that was returned for a touchdown, and an interception thwarted another scoring opportunity.

Clemson’s defense has had a few good moments, but they have been few and far between. FSU has 312 total yards, and receiver Rashad Greene has caught seven passes for 129 yards.

The Seminoles have also held the ball for 19:06 of the first half – or two-thirds of game play. Clemson’s defense – which has been excellent on third down this season – has allowed Florida St. to convert on four-of-six chances, and they are giving up 7.6 yards per play.

The Tigers have also ran the ball 16 times for just 42 yards, an average of 2.8 yards per carry.

What the Tigers need to do to win:Boyd has to go back to being the quarterback he was against LSU last season and against Georgia earlier this year. The defense has to do a better job of getting off the field on third down.

However, FSU gets the ball to open the second half, and if they score, it could be a death knell for Clemson’s ACC Championship and national title hopes.

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