Matchup: #20 Clemson at #1 Florida State (-14.5, 60.5 at JustBet)
Date/Time: Saturday, September 20th @ 8:00 pm (EST)
Location: Tallahassee, FL (airing on ABC)
Preview: The #1 ranked Florida State Seminoles take on the #20 ranked Clemson Tigers from Doak Walker Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida.
The Florida State Seminoles were in the headlines this week for all the wrong reasons. Last year’s Heisman trophy winner Jameis Winston made yet another stupid decision. Winston shouted a vulgar obscenity in front of students while standing up on a table. The incident landed him a suspension and he will be on the bench for the first half of Saturday night’s contest. Starting for the Seminoles will be sophomore Sean Maguire, a highly touted recruit that has seen limited action in the time he’s been at the school. Florida State has been less than impressive, as they were tested against Oklahoma State in their opening game, defeating the Cowboys 37-30. The following week they defeated Citadel 37-12. The Florida State defense has been less impressive, as they are allowing a staggering 205 yards on the ground.
Clemson didn’t start their season off on a positive note as they lost to Georgia in their season opener in a hot and humid Sanford Stadium in Athens. Clemson hung tough with the Bulldogs and were tied at the half, but in the second half the Bulldogs pulled away behind the efforts of Todd Gurley. Clemson isn’t as bad as people think, as the heat and humidity definitely took its toll on the defense, and when they were down by such a great amount it made the offense one dimensional. They have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball and are led by senior quarterback Cole Stoudt.
Florida State has not impressed me thus far this season, and their quarterback isn’t the brightest when it comes to making smart decisions. Clemson might have lost their two big playmakers in Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins, but they have recruited well and return 12 starters from last year’s squad. Many people know that Clemson was flat out embarrassed last season on their home turf by the Seminoles, and they’ve had this game circled on their calendar since then. Clemson is looking for revenge, while Florida State is dealing with the distractions of Winston’s antics. With Winston out for the 1st half, I look for Florida State to be somewhat conservative on offense. One unknown is how Florida State’s inexperienced quarterback will handle the moment. I think Clemson can definitely be competitive in this one, and see them being able to run the ball with success. I look for this to be close throughout, with Winston leading his team to a narrow victory in the 4th quarter. Florida State wins, Clemson covers.
2014 Week 4 NCAA Football Picks: Clemson +14.5, Under 60.5
Florida State at Clemson Score Prediction: Florida State 31 – Clemson 23