Athlon: Week 4 Preview and Predictions


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From Athlon Sports:

ACC's Top Storylines for Week 4

1. Can Clemson’s offensive line block Florida State?
The biggest question mark surrounding Clemson’s offense coming into the season was its line. With the departure of three key performers, the Tigers had big concerns about protecting quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Jr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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. The line has been a mixed bag of results through the first three weeks, as Clemson is averaging 5.2 yards per rush and has scored seven rushing touchdowns. The Tigers have allowed only four sacks but all of them came in the opener against Auburn. Considering Florida State’s defensive line is even better than Auburn, Clemson’s coaching staff has to be worried. The Tigers have the ACC’s best set of playmakers on offense, led by quarterback Tajh Boyd, running back Andre EllingtonAndre Ellington
RS Sr. Running Back
#23 5-10, 195
Moncks Corner, SC

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and receivers Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
So. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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and DeAndre HopkinsDeAndre Hopkins
Jr. Wide Receiver
#6 6-2, 205
Central, SC

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. However, if the line can’t protect Boyd, Clemson’s offense will struggle to move the ball against the Seminoles.

2. Will Florida State’s offensive line protect EJ Manuel?
Just like Clemson, the biggest question surrounding Florida State in the preseason was its offensive line. This unit was a major weakness last season and features three sophomore starters for Saturday’s matchup. Florida State has yet to be tested by a top-25 team, but the line showed promise in last week’s victory over Wake Forest, recording 385 rushing yards and four touchdowns. However, quarterback EJ Manuel was sacked three times, and the Demon Deacons were able to get consistent pressure in the pocket. Clemson’s defensive line is inexperienced and has generated only three sacks through the first three games. This is the biggest test for Florida State’s offensive line, and a passing grade would go a long way to helping the Seminoles remain in the national title picture.

Clemson at Florida State FSU 35-21 FSU 34-28 FSU 31-24 FSU 34-24

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