The Florida State Seminoles will host Clemson Saturday in what has become their most challenging game of the season. Jameis Winston has been suspended for the first half of the game due to poor behavior, so Sean Maguire will be making his first career start.
Stay solid on the offensive line: These are very experienced linemen going up against each other. The Clemson defensive line returns its top 12 tacklers while FSU returns four, two-year starters. Those Noles on the line will need to make sure they are not only giving Maguire time to throw the ball, but they will need to clear some holes for Karlos Williams and Mario Pender to run. Oklahoma State’s aggressive defense was able to get pressure and force Williams to the outside, where it met him with linebackers. OSU also got five tackles for a loss, including two sacks, so Clemson will be taking a page out of the Cowboy’s book to get some negative plays.
Adjust to QB changes for Clemson: Cole Stoudt and freshman Deshaun Watson are two different QBs. Stoudt is a threat to throw when he’s in, while Watson will run more, throw less. Adjusting to the personnel will be critical.
Shut down the Clemson run game: If the Noles can shut down an already anemic running game, that will force the Tigers into a whole lot of passing downs. If FSU can force Clemson and Stoudt into more passing situations and force them to be one-dimensional, they’ll be just fine in this game.