Seminoles Scalp Tigers, 41-27
Dantzler got Clemson back into the game with this 2 yd TD run.
CLEMSON - Apparently the demise of Florida State has been greatly exaggerated.
The 14th-ranked Seminoles rolled up 557 yards of total offense Saturday in a 41-27 victory over Clemson in Death Valley. The win kept Florida State's (6-2, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) league title drive alive, while simultaneously crushing the Tigers' fleeting hopes.
"We're still doing some things on defense, like giving up too many big plays," Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden said. "We're still looking to have a full game where the offense, defense and special teams come together."
Redshirt freshman quarterback Chris Rix (19-of 30, 369 yards) threw three long touchdown passes against the bedraggled Clemson secondary - 47 and 31 yards to Jovan Walker and 28 to Talman Gardner, all in the first half.
He later added a four-yard scoring pass to Gardner, which gave his team a 34-10 lead with just under 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter. The flurry gives Rix nine touchdown passes in his last two games, after having just nine in the previous six.
"We threw and caught in the first half about as well as we have all year," said FSU head coach Bobby Bowden. "They were determined to keep us from running the ball. That's they way most people play. They kept fighting.
"(Our improvement this season) is related to Rix's improvement. When you start with an inexperienced quarterback, that's when the importance of a quarterback begins to show itself."
Florida State also did damage on the ground, most of it courtesy of Greg Jones. Jones gained 160 of his team's 188 rushing yards, including a 51-yard scoring run on a third-and-one play with 7:17 to go in the game.
The touchdown proved to be a backbreaker to Clemson, which had pulled within 34-20 and seemed to have swung the momentum in its favor. But Jones was able to get to the corner and streak down the far sideline untouched, putting his team up 41-20.
Clemson would score again with 3:43 remaining on a 1-yard run by Bernard Rambert to pull within 41-27. But the ensuing onside kick was recovered by Florida State, ending any hopes the Tigers had of a miracle comeback.
"Both of us needed to win," Bobby Bowden said. "Tommy needed some momentum, we did too. The win felt good and I'm glad we won, but there are a lot of guys I used to coach with (on Clemson's staff). I even raised some of them, and it takes a little of the luster out of it."
Clemson's secondary continued to be a sore spot on defense.
Rix, throwing against soft coverage most of the night, completed passes seemingly at will. Two of his biggest throws came in the same drive, and both came on third down. Facing third and 22 at his own 24, Rix found Craphonso Thorpe for a 38-yard gain to the Clemson 38.
Four plays later, on third and 3 from the Clemson four, Rix hit Gardner for the four-yard score.
The loss drops Clemson to 5-3 overall, 3-3 in the ACC. The Tigers are 2-3 at home, as compared to 3-0 at on the road.
"I don't know why we've been more successful on the road this year," Tommy Bowden said. "We had a great crowd today, and they were into the game. I just wish we would have had a better performance for them today."
1 2 3 4 T
Florida State 10 17 7 7 41
Clemson 0 10 7 10 27
Fsu - Fg, Xavier Beitia 31 Yd, 11:11
Fsu - Td, Javon Walker 47 yd pass From Chris Rix (Xavier Beitia Kick), 12:53
Clmn - Td, Woodrow Dantzler 2 yd run (Aaron Hunt Kick), 4:31
Fsu - Td, Talman Gardner 28 yd pass From Chris Rix (Xavier Beitia Kick), 5:50
Fsu - Fg, Xavier Beitia 39 Yd, 10:46
Fsu - Td, Javon Walker 31 yd pass From Chris Rix (Xavier Beitia Kick), 12:51
Clmn - Fg, Aaron Hunt 22 Yd, 14:58
Fsu - Td, Talman Gardner 4 yd pass From Chris Rix (Xavier Beitia Kick), 5:02
Clmn - Td, Woodrow Dantzler 7 yd run (Aaron Hunt Kick), 13:06
Clmn - Fg, Aaron Hunt 32 Yd, 6:12
Fsu - Td, Greg Jones 51 yd run (Xavier Beitia Kick), 7:43
Clmn - Td, Bernard Rambert 1 yd run (Aaron Hunt Kick), 11:17
Florida St Clemson
First downs 27 26
Rushed-yards 35-188 45-186
Passing yards 369 277
Sacked-yards lost 2-18 4-27
Return yards 13 11
Passes 19-30-2 22-41-1
Punts 3-34.3 5-41.4
Fumbles-lost 1-0 1-0
Penalties-yards 4-30 8-51
Time of possession 27:04 32:56
Florida St: G Jones 17-160, Rix 7-47, Shelton 2-4, Team 3-minus 6, Maddox 6-minus 17.
Clemson: Rambert 11-67, Dantzler 22-59, Zachery 9-36, Hamilton 2-18, Jasmin 1-6.
Florida St: Rix 19-30-2-369.
Clemson: Dantzler 22-40-1-277, Team 0-1-0-0.
Florida St: J Walker 6-162, Gardner 6-115, Bell 4-44, Thorpe 1-38, P Sam 1-7, Maddox 1-3.
Clemson: Hamilton 7-88, Zachery 5-30, Currie 4-35, Crosby 2-45, Woodward 2-20, Mckelvey 1-51, Rambert 1-8.