However, Dabo Swinney is going to be sure to remind his team that this is a tremendously dangerous team against a club that is playing in its equivalent of the Super Bowl. Clemson could have a war on its hands.
Florida State Seminoles vs. Clemson Tigers
Date and Time: Saturday, November 11, 2017, 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC
Opening College Football Odds: Clemson -17.5
Florida State vs. Clemson TV Coverage: ESPN
It took until November 4 for Florida State to pick up its first win of the season at home. Its 27-24 victory over Syracuse was an escape of epic proportions, as the Orange missed what should have been a relatively easy field goal at the gun that would have sent the game to overtime.
Still, the Seminoles did what they had to do in that game to get a rare victory to keep their hopes of a bowl game alive. Right now, Florida State would have to win out to get into a bowl game, but the team is expecting to schedule its game against Louisiana Monroe on December 2, the day of the conference championship games to give itself a second lease on life with bowl eligibility.
James Blackman continues to be a work in progress for the Noles after going 12-for-19 for 136 yards and a touchdown.
Fortunately for Florida State, freshman Cam Akers presented himself in a big way, ripping off 199 yards and two scores to beat the Orange, the fourth-most rushing yards by a freshman in FSU history.
Clemson hasn't quite won the ACC Atlantic Division yet, but with this being the last game on the ACC docket, a win would send it to Charlotte for the ACC title game against Miami.
More important is the fact that the Tigers can't afford a second loss if they want to stay in the hunt for the College Football Playoff. One loss to a sub-.500 team isn't a total disqualifier, but a second surely would be, even if they were to go on to the ACC title game and beat a then-undefeated Miami side.
95 – The number of plays Florida State's defense was on the field for against Syracuse last week.
This Florida State defense hasn't had any excuses this year like the offense has. Missing Deondre Francois has crippled the team's offensive production, but there haven't been any devastating injuries on the defensive side of the ball. This unit is deep and was able to withstand the 95 plays the Orange ran against it last week, but there could be a comprehensive problem here building against Clemson.
The Tigers didn't complete a single pass that traveled more than 10 yards in the air against N.C. State. Kelly Bryant went 0-for-10 in such passes. That said, the team used its powerful offensive line and deep running game to keep the Wolfpack at bay in the game that should have effectively won the ACC Atlantic Division title for the Tigers.
Florida State vs. Clemson Free Picks
Florida State has been a double-digit underdog just once in the Jimbo Fisher era. Now, it's the biggest dog it has been at any NCAA football sportsbook since Drew Weatherford and Xavier Lee were the quarterbacks for the team in 2006.
However, Florida State always seems to rise to the occasion in situations like this. It's easy to forget that this team was ranked No. 3 in the nation at the start of the year, higher than Clemson. The Tigers were always going to be favored in this game, but this spread has ballooned quite a bit.
The fact that the Seminoles were run into the ground by Syracuse last week has to be a major concern, and that's why we're fairly sure they aren't going to win this game. But would we be all that surprised if this was a game heading into the fourth quarter? We surely wouldn't.
College Football ATS Pick: Florida State +17.5 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Clemson 21, Florida State 16