The Clemson Tigers and Florida State Seminoles square off in what historically is a big time matchup in the ACC. As one of the worst teams in the ACC, Florida State has not been much of an opponent since Jimbo Fisher left Tallahassee. The situation worked out nicely for Jimbo, as he got out of a bad situation and made money at Texas A&M. When Willie Taggart took over, the program didn’t have nearly as much talent to work with as Jimbo did when they won a National Championship with Jameis Winston.
That said, I’m not making any excuses for Taggart, who was terrible for the Seminoles. Mike Norvell is left to try to pick up the pieces at Florida State. The former Memphis Tigers’ head coach is left with a daunting task. It’s going to be difficult for Norvell to recruit against powerhouses like Clemson in the ACC.
Dabo Swinney has a serious recruiting advantage on Norvell, clearly. Attending FSU doesn’t have the same prestige it used to when Jimbo was the head coach, but that doesn’t mean the Seminoles can’t get things going in the right direction. Remember it was less than a decade that they won the National Championship. A lot of schools cannot say that much.
Clemson blasted Alabama for the National Championship two years ago, and then it was the Tigers on the receiving end the following season. A year after torching the Crimson Tide, 44-16, Joe Burrow and LSU did the same to Clemson in a 42-25 game. Clemson will get Trevor Lawrence back on Saturday afternoon after he had to miss some time with Covid-19. Symptoms were reportedly mild and Lawrence feels good going into this matchup.
While Lawrence was out, they suffered a big loss against Notre Dame, 47-40, in overtime. How can we blame that loss on the offense when Clemson scored 40 points? DJ Uiagalelei was solid with 439 yards passing and 2 touchdowns. He didn’t throw an interception or otherwise throw the game away. The defense was just outworked severely by Notre Dame’s playmakers.
Clemson gets what looks like a lay up on Saturday afternoon, but the Seminoles will be interested in this game against a rival. If there would be any positive to take from this season for FSU, it’s that they plated Clemson hard and gave them everything they could handle. It may not be enough for a win, though any positive signs now would be welcome. Head below for our free Clemson vs. Florida State pick for November 21, 2020.
Clemson Tigers vs. Florida State Seminoles ACC Football Betting Odds:
Clemson vs. Florida State Prediction:
Getting a healthy Trevor Lawrence back in the lineup is a big sigh of relief for the Tigers. Despite the loss against Notre Dame two weeks ago, Clemson can still go to the College Football Playoff. They can’t lose any more games in the regular season, but I’m sure organizers would love to have Clemson in the CFP.
Voters will likely look at the Notre Dame game and make an excuse for the Tigers. Lawrence wasn’t playing, but again, Clemson didn’t lose the game because of their offense. The defense really let them down in that game. The usual lockdown defense of Clemson has looked beatable at times this season.
Prior to losing to Notre Dame, the Tigers gave up 28 points to a mediocre Boston College team in a 34-28 win. In four of eight games this season, Clemson has conceded at least 20 points, and one of the games they didn’t was against The Citadel. That doesn’t all that bad, but this is a Clemson team that typically doesn’t give up any room at all defensively.
Florida State are coming off a 38-22 loss against NC State last week. It was expected or I wouldn’t have played NC State to cover. Jordan Travis is likely to start on Saturday against the Tigers. He’s been up and down, and was benched after throwing for no touchdowns and an interception on 106 yards against Pittsburgh.
Travis has been successful on the ground. He’s gained 469 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns on 5.5 yards per carry. This is a huge opportunity for Travis to get back in Mike Norvell’s good graces. He doesn’t have to be perfect, but string together some drives, and that will be seen as a win. This spread is a whole lot of points. I know it’s Florida State, but 35.5 points is a lot for what could be a rusty Lawrence to cover. Expect an easy win for Clemson. However, Florida State should still cover in a 48-20 kind of game.