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Instant Analysis: No. 4 FSU 49, No. 10 Clemson 37

  by - Senior Writer - Saturday, September 22, 2012 11:52 PM

TALLAHASSEE, FL- Instant Analysis: FSU 49, Clemson 37

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.

The Tigers brought out the bag of tricks early in the second half as Boyd threw back to Watkins, who then hit a wide-open Andre EllingtonAndre Ellington
RS Sr. Running Back
#23 5-10, 195
Moncks Corner, SC

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on a wheel route and a 52-yard touchdown as Clemson held a 28-14 lead.

Chandler CatanzaroChandler Catanzaro
RS Jr. Punter / Kicker
#39 6-2, 195
Greenville, SC

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hit a 51-yard field goal – the longest of his career – giving him 15 consecutive field goals dating back to last season, a Clemson record.

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.

The defense – this graph can explain it all. Florida St. had receivers open in flat, down the middle, up the sidelines and anywhere else they could run. Clemson was called for two pass interference penalties, and the tackling was less than poor – it was atrocious.

In all, FSU rang up 27 first downs and was 7-for-12 on third down. The Noles also rushed for 287 yards while passing for 380 yards.

Manuel had 482 total yards of offense on his own.

Turning Point of the Game:Clemson had just used a trick play to go up 28-14, but the Tiger kickoff was returned to Clemson 11-yard line. The Seminoles punched it in quite easily, and the Tigers never recovered after that play as Florida St. went on a 35-3 run after that play.

Stat of the Game: The defense gave up 667 total yards of offense. You read that one right – 667 total yards.

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