Dan Scott: Florida St vs Clemson Prediction


by - Correspondent -
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When Clemson Has The Ball

Clemson's task this week is markedly different than its last time out. Whereas Wake Forest would at times rush just two and drop as many as nine players off the line of scrimmage, hoping to avoid giving up a big play, the Seminoles will be coming at quarterback Charlie Whitehurst guns-a-blazin'. If Whitehurst is protected, the possibility for big plays in the passing game exists. It also wouldn't hurt to see Yusef Kelly back on the field, giving the Tigers solid play at the tailback spot. Problem is this Florida State defense reminds some of the great units of the 1990s. They can make big plays, too.

Advantage - FSU



When Florida State Has The Ball

The key to the Seminole offense isn't big, bruising running back Greg Jones, or burner Craphonso Thorpe at wide receiver. It isn't a big, effective offensive line. Simply put, the key to FSU's offense is Chris Rix. If the much-maligned junior quarterback has his head on straight - which he has for most of this season - the Seminoles usually roll. But make something bad happen early - pick off a pass, sack him and force a fumble - and Rix is just as likely to implode. Watch for the Tigers to be very aggressive early in an attempt to force that huge mistake, and keep the crowd whipped into a frenzy. Miss that early chance, and it could be a long, long night.

Advantage - FSU



Special Teams

Follies in the kicking game - poor coverage, dropped punt snaps, etc. - contributed to Clemson's downfall in Tallahassee a year ago. For the most part special teams have been better this season, despite some recent struggles in the punting department. Still, doesn't Florida State seemingly always make a big play in this part of the game?

Advantage - FSU



Coaching

Even if daddy wanted to take pity on his son, he can't. Not with a shot - small or not - of playing for another national championship. Tommy will reach into his bag of tricks somewhere, but it will prove to be futile.

Advantage - FSU



Bottom Line

Clemson needs this one bad. Tommy Bowden needs it worse. How ironic that it could be the father delivering the death blow to the son.



THE PICK

FSU 37, Clemson 14




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