Dan Scott Prediction: Clemson - FSU


by - Correspondent -
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QUARTERBACK

Charlie Whitehurst's numbers aren't what most thought they would be through three games, especially the touchdown/interception ratio (4/7). But at least three of the interceptions have been passes dropped by his own receivers. The Tigers have dropped eight passes total in the past two games. For FSU, Chris Rix is fine as long as he's not required to win the game for the Seminoles.

ADVANTAGE - Clemson


OFFENSE


RUNNING BACK

The Tigers will try to stuff four running backs into a three-man rotation, at least until someone gets hot. A healthy Duane Coleman gives Whitehurst another option out of the backfield. FSU's tandem of Leon Washington and Lorenzo Booker hope to feast on the Tigers' porous run defense.

ADVANTAGE - FSU



WIDE RECEIVER

As Kelvin Grant emerges, Chansi Stuckey has been stuck in first gear since the season opener. He, along with Airese Currie, need to get going in a hurry. Craphonso Thorpe is Rix's big-play guy, and he can run.

ADVANTAGE - Clemson



OFFENSIVE LINE

Though it did get smacked around a bit vs. Texas A&M a week ago, much of the problem came from missed assignments. Hard work on that this week, plus the insertion of Roman Fry into the starting lineup at guard, means Clemson hopes to run the ball vs. the Seminoles. FSU's line is big and experienced, starting three seniors and a junior.

ADVANTAGE - FSU



RUN DEFENSE

The Tigers, already struggling to stop the run, have lost senior defensive end Vontrell Jamison for the season. Most of this week's practice was spent working on fundamentals, aimed at cutting down on missed tackles. FSU coach Bobby Bowden said his second team defense may be better than his first, especially in the front eight.

ADVANTAGE - FSU



PASS DEFENSE

Amazing how these things work together, but if the Tigers can do a better job of stopping the run then the pass defense - which hasn't been all bad - will improve. FSU's corners are strong, but Clemson might look to attack the safeties in multiple-receiver sets.

ADVANTAGE - EVEN



SPECIAL TEAMS

The Tigers have been solid here across the board, save for field goals and extra points. Now Jad Dean gets his turn, replacing Stephen Furr. FSU's kicker - junior Xavier Beitia - has been through pressure situations Dean has yet to experience.

ADVANTAGE - FSU



THE PICK

Florida State 31, Clemson 28

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