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Instant Halftime Analysis: Clemson 21, Florida St. 14

  by - Senior Writer - Saturday, September 22, 2012 9:52 PM

TALLAHASSEE, FL- Instant Halftime Analysis: Clemson 21, Florida St. 14

What went right: The Tigers started off the night with a bang when quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Jr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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hit Nuk Hopkins on a 60-yard touchdown on the game’s first drive. The catch was the longest of Hopkins’ career.

On the Tigers’ next drive, with Clemson facing a fourth down inside the Nole 20-yard line, kicker Spencer BentonSpencer Benton
RS Sr. Punter / Kicker
#13 6-1, 195
Myrtle Beach, SC

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passed the ball to fullback Darrell SmithDarrell Smith
RS Jr. Fullback
#40 6-2, 250
Gadsden, AL

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for a first down. Clemson would later score on the drive.

Following the first two touchdown drives, the Tiger offense sputtered, but the second punt was fumbled by FSU and recovered by Clemson. The Tigers made the Noles pay when Boyd hit Brandon FordBrandon Ford
Gr. Tight End
#80 6-4, 240
Wando, SC

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for Clemson’s third touchdown.

FSU kicker Dustin Hopkins, usually reliable, missed two first half field goals and the Noles had the half’s only turnover.

What went wrong: The defense continued to give up big plays, especially on outside runs. FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel chewed up the Tigers on the Noles’ first drive, and the second drive was much the same.

Clemson had to call a couple of early timeouts because of issues getting personnel on the field.

Clemson challenged a second quarter fumble by FSU – the ruling on the field was that the runner was down – and the call was upheld.

Facing a third-and-three at their own 42-yard line, Morris reached into his bag of tricks and had Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
So. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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attempt a pass down the field to Adam HumphriesAdam Humphries
So. Wide Receiver
#16 5-11, 190
Spartanburg, SC

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, who was wide open. The pass was slightly overthrown, and Clemson had to punt, giving FSU the ball back with time to score.

The Seminoles did drive down the field, getting a big punt return on special teams and then marching down the field with no timeouts. They made it look easy on Clemson’s defense, but did have to settle for a Dustin Hopkins field goal attempt.

Turning Point of the Half:With the score tied at 14-14, Clemson’s punt was muffed by FSU, and the ball was recovered by snapper Phillip FajgenbaumPhillip Fajgenbaum
RS Jr. Long Snapper
#52 6-0, 220
Raleigh, NC

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. The Tigers turned that turnover into a Boyd TD pass to Brandon Ford for the half’s final score.

Stat of the Half: FSU has 311 yards in the half, but a turnover and two missed field goals were the difference. The Tigers had 253 total yards on FSU’s vaunted defense.

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