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Clemson vs. Florida State Pick – NCAAF Week 9

The Clemson Tigers were here last year against the Florida State Seminoles, undefeated going into a crucial game against another heavyweight in the ACC. Clemson earned a big 23-13 win, en route to an appearance in the National Championship. The Tigers are looking to make it past Florida State once again with the National Championship in their sights. A win today would put them at 8-0 with a major roadblock out of the way. The Seminoles already have a big win over a rival this season against the Miami Hurricanes. FSU will be searching for similar fortunes tonight in Tallahassee. The Noles do not have the National Championship within their sights, a loss to UNC did them in on October 1st. They already had the loss to Louisville, but they were still alive in the playoff picture with one loss.

They could still disrupt Clemson’s plans, along with winning the ACC if things start going their way. It isn’t the most unforeseeable scenario playing out. They also still have possibility of going to a quality bowl game in January with a strong showing. A win against Clemson would put all of these plans into serious motion. So, this Florida State team still has a lot to be playing for. The Seminoles have relied on a freshman at quarterback after an injury to starter Sean Maguire. Deondre Francois promised to be the next big thing on campus at Florida State, but they didn’t anticipate having to use him this early in his career.

Francois has shown why he was so highly recruited in high school. Despite some hiccups along the way, predictable freshman errors, Francois has proven he will have a successful career at Florida State, barring an injury of course. He has a lot of work to do if he wants to join the lore of Jameis Winston on the football field. I had to throw in on the football field, because Francois certainly doesn’t want to have the same off-field issues Winston was plagued with.

Francois has thrown for 10 touchdowns with only 3 interceptions, including 144 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns. Francois will go to battle against the ultra-talented Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson. Watson and the Tigers escaped a disaster last week against North Carolina State. The Wolfpack missed a chip-shot for the win, and then Clemson took care of business in overtime for a close call. They’ll have to be much better on the road in Tallahassee tonight.

Clemson Tigers vs. Florida State Seminoles NCAAF Betting Odds:

Spread:
Clemson -4.5(-110)
vs. Florida State +4.5(-110)

Total:
Over 60(-110)
Under 60(-110)

Odds provided by Bovada.lv

Clemson vs. Florida State Pick:

Clemson has been able to avoid disastrous results a few times this season. Notably, they had close calls against Troy and the North Carolina State game from last week. Clemson also had to survive Auburn in their opener, a 19-13 victory. But at the end of the day, the Tigers are undefeated and just need to keep winning games to maintain their top 4 ranking in the country. In any event, it hasn’t been smooth sailing for the Tigers this season, unlike how they blew away the competition last year. Clemson are back in 35th with regards to yards per game. Pretty surprising considering where they are without a loss and in the top 4.

Clemson are not in the top 20 in any offensive category. In fact, the Tigers are 80th running the football. Didn’t see that one coming did you? Like I said, this hasn’t been the same dominant force on offense we were accustomed to seeing last season. They started out real slow, and they still appear to have some issues getting going. Clemson were fortunate enough to get Louisville at home, but now they go on the road for their next big opponent.

Florida State have allowed an average of 28.9 points per game. They allowed 60 points to Louisville to skew their numbers pretty significantly. Without the Louisville game, the Seminoles have allowed 19.8 points per game. Their most impressive defensive effort was against Brad Kaaya and Miami, where they allowed just 19 points. The following week Wake Forest scored just 6 points. I expect a similar effort from the Seminoles tonight at home in Tallahassee. The place should be rocking on Saturday night for this one. I am not comfortable with laying 4.5 points on the road with Clemson here. I don’t really think they’ve proven they should be 4.5 favorites in Tallahassee. This should be a game decided by a field goal, so the points are definitely enticing with Florida State.

PICK: FLORIDA STATE +4.5 (-110)