2019 FSU-Clemson Preview and Prediction

by quidnunct
FSU Clemson

Image Credit: FSU Athletics


2019 FSU-Clemson Game Info

  • Clemson, SC
  • 3:30 Eastern, ABC
  • Clemson -27, O/U 60.5
  • Last Game:

When FSU’s on Offense

  • Round 1, Pick 4: Clelin Ferrell
  • Round 1, Pick 13: Christian Wilkins
  • Round 1, Pick 17: Dexter Lawrence
  • Round 4, Pick 117: Austin Bryant

And there was much rejoicing in Tallahassee. The entire front line of the Tiger defense was gone. Oh wait. They have backups? Yep. ‘Fraid so. The 2019 edition of the Clemson team might not be as crazy, but they’re just as talented. Sophomore DE Xavier Thomas has 4.5 TFL and 2 sacks, and junior LB Isaiah Simmons leads the team in tackles (40), TFL (6), and sacks (3). Senior Tanner Muse adds 3 TFL of his own from his safety spot, along with 2 picks.

FSU is going to have success offensively. I believe that to be true. I have no idea how they’re going to achieve this. Clemson’s defense is, by far, the best offense we have faced this season. But Briles and company will find a way to poke a hole. That’s not the right question, though. The right question is this – how long will that hole stay open? Brent Venables is one of the best defensive minds in the game and will have his Tiger defense ready to cause havoc. And once that happens, be aware that we may not be able to climb out.

When FSU’s on Defense

Don’t buy the anti-hype that Clemson’s offense is down from last year, that our defense will be fine. This is a myth. As was stated with their defense, Clemson is, by far, the best offense we have faced so far this year. Everyone focuses on Trevor Lawrence, but with good reason. Even in a down year, he’s still completing 62% of passes, good for around 8.25 yards/attempt. This is close to FSU’s own 8.3 yards/attempt, but the difference is that Clemson’s success rates down-to-down are much higher than FSU’s. They are explosive and consistent.

Rushing, Etienne might be having a down year, but I’d love for any of our backs to have such a down year. He’s carried 67 times for 462 yards, good for 6.9 yards/carry and 92.4 yards/game. FSU has not yet faced an offense that can run, throw well short, and throw well long. If the Noles want to have a shot in this game, they must force Clemson to beat them explosively and try to win this game Big 12 style – who can get to 70 first?

Other Factors

Clemson’s special teams are quite pedestrian. Nothing to see here. Thank God that this is a 3:30 kick – not as much time for the snaggletooth Clemson fans to get lubricated.

Score Predictions

John: 38-21 Clemson. Fast start for the ‘Noles as Clemson loves to rotate bodies early in the games – especially on defense. Clemson settles in, and exploits our defensive coverage in the flats.

Cory: 51-20 Clemson. Clemson’s offense is too much for a defense that, while getting better, is also ravaged by injury. Clemson exposes our lack of linebacker depth and makes us pay. Clemson’s defense is too much for an offense that, while much better than last year, still has glaring issues at offensive line.

Mike: 38-20 Clemson. FSU has played much better these last two games, but going into Clemson to take on a Tigers team that was awakened by North Carolina its last time out is a tall, tall task. After suffering the worst home loss in program history last season, the Seminoles will look like a team worthy of sharing a field with the reigning national champions, but not much more.

Danielle: 38-31 Clemson. The offense has to put a lot of points up, which they can do. If zone works, fine – but you must stop leaving the middle open. The Leavitt effect is real, and has paid off so far. Other than that, the ACC refs will look to keep Clemson in the game however possible. Both teams will count on the long pass. Noles find a way to keep it competitive.

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