ACC Football Preview – Florida State vs Clemson

Florida State vs Clemson

For the second week in a row, No. 21 Clemson will host a ranked opponent, and they have been perfect this season, winning all three of their games.

Meanwhile, after losing to the No. 1 team in the country, the Florida State Seminoles dropped from No. 5 to No. 11 and now must face a very good Tigers team on the road this weekend possibly without starting quarterback EJ Manuel.
Seminoles v Tigers

Venue/Stadium: Clemson Memorial Stadium, Clemson, South Carolina
Time/Date: 3:30 PM ET, Saturday, September 24, 2011
NFL Odds From: Bookmaker
Moneyline: OFF
Spread (ATS): Clemson -1
Over/Under: 50.5

Manuel, who was forced to leave the game against Oklahoma in the third quarter, has been listed day-to-day and is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury, which means the Seminoles will likely be forced to go with back-up Clint Trickett who was 7-for-15 passing for 134 yards with one touchdown and one interception, but was no match for a powerful Sooners team.

It also didn’t help that the Seminoles gained just 27 rushing yards on 26 attempts against Oklahoma, something that will have to change if they want any chance of winning games against top ranked opponents.

FSU will have to regroup quickly as Clemson is coming in with a lot of momentum off a win against last year’s national champion Auburn Tigers, snapping their 17-game winning streak.

The Tigers defense was tested early by Auburn, but clamped down and that eventually gave way for quarterback Tajh Boyd to put on a passing clinic, completing 30 of 42 passes for 386 yards and four touchdowns, giving him 10 in three games.

However, as good as that performance as it was, Boyd will need all the momentum he can muster when he faces a Seminoles defense that played pretty well against the best team in the country.

Both teams need to win this game, as it is likely to have future implications on who will win this year’s ACC Atlantic Division.

Florida State leads the series 17-7 including a 16-13 margin of victory in last season’s game in Tallahassee on Dustin Hopkins’ 55-yard field goal as time expired. Hopkins made three kicks in that game, and Manuel scored his team’s lone touchdown on an 8-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, Clemson is 1-5 when both teams are ranked, with a lone win coming in 1989.

Matt’s Prediction: Clemson 39, FSU 19- The Tigers who are seeking their first 4-0 start since 2007, have home field advantage, and it will be tough test for the Seminoles to win on the road and possibly without their starting quarterback. The odd makers have been slow in really being aggressive with the spread points, but I am sure that once If Manuel is declared out, this line will shoot up. With that being said, Memorial Stadium will be buzzing as the Tigers win this one by double digits.

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Matthew Martz

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