Keys to Florida State Game

by - Correspondent -

1. Stop The Run

Through three games Clemson is giving up almost 240 rushing yards per contest. Needless to say any hopes of beating not only the Seminoles, but almost anyone, lie in dramatically decreasing that number. If Florida State runs the ball at will, it takes all the pressure off quarterback Chris Rix. And as Rix has shown, any close game left to him to win can quickly become an adventure.

2. Run It Yourself

A year ago the Tigers moved the ball on the ground just enough vs. the Seminoles to keep the defense honest. Some of the most important yardage in that game came on designed runs for quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. The offensive line will have its hands full with a deep, talented FSU front eight. But somehow, someway, the line must create cracks for Reggie Merriweather, Kyle Browning and Duane Coleman to run through.

3. Save What's Left of Your Toes

In other words, the Tigers must stop shooting themselves in the foot. As much as Texas A&M dominated last weeks game at the line of scrimmage, Clemson still averaged close to five yards per rush themselves and at times moved the ball reasonably well. But two of Whitehurst's three interceptions slipped through the hands of his own wide receivers first. Defensively, another potential interception was dropped. Make those plays and perhaps the tide turns. Make the same mistakes this week and get beat. Badly.

Dan Scott covers Clemson University for the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Messenger and TigerNet. He also hosts SportsTalk from 9 a.m.-Noon, Monday-Friday, on WCCP-Fm, 104.9. Click here for Dan Scott's SportsTalk discussion board.

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