By: Eric Robinson
It’s Halloween weekend for many so it was fitting that Clemson and Florida State engaged in a thriller.
A back-and- forth nail biter between the #3 Clemson Tigers (8-0) and the 12th ranked Florida State Seminoles (5-3) ended with the Tigers walking out of Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida with a monumental conference win, 37-34.
In a contest that featured several elite collegiate stars including QB Deshaun Watson of Clemson and RB Dalvin Cook of Florida State, the big name stars came through in a big way for their respective teams. A 14-0 first quarter lead for Clemson became slimmer in the second quarter after FSU QB Deondre Francois connected with receiver Nyquan Murray for a five-yard touchdown right before halftime to trim the Clemson lead to 17-14.
The game was a tale of two halves for the speedster Cook who totaled 169 yards on the ground with four touchdowns, three of them coming in the second half. A 70-yard touchdown by Cook with under a minute left in the third quarter gave the Seminoles a 28-20 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Both offenses poured a ton of yards into the game with Clemson totaling 511 yards and Florida State getting 449. One major aspect of the entire game, however, it wasClemson’s ability on defense to get to Francois as he was sacked five times, including twice on the deciding drive in the last seconds of the contest, while also adding on numerous QB hits that left Francois dazed at times and clearly in pain. The redshirt freshmen showed toughness however when his team needed it the most as he passed for 286 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Watson and the Tigers offense took the momentum late in the fourth quarter and capped it all off with a 34-yard touchdown pass from Watson to tight end Jordan Leggett for the game-winning score with a little over two minutes remaining in the game. Watson’s 420 total yards of offense along with his impressive moxie stood tall at the end as Clemson picks up a massive win on their road to a highly-possible ACC championship berth.