No one saw this season coming for Clemson. A loss to Pitt last week drops their record to 4-3; this program has not lost four games in a season since 2011 and finds themselves hunting answers with a lot of football still to play. On the opposite end of the spectrum comes Florida St. The Seminoles season looked over at 0-4 until a recent three-game win streak has put them back to one game under .500. Mike Norvell’s tenure could have started better, but at least he has the program trending in the right direction.
Does Clemson get right, or can Florida St; continue their run, and what is the best play on this matchup?
Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
- Opening Line: Clemson -9.5, O/U 47.5
- Current Line: Clemson -9.5, O/U 47.5
- Last meeting: October 12, 2019, Clemson 45, Florida St 14
This year, things have progressed from bad to worse with Clemson’s offense as heralded QB D.J. Uiagalelei has struggled in the 111th ranked passing defense, ultimately hitting the bench against Pitt. The running game has not eased his struggles as rotations among the backs led by Kobe Pace and Will Shipley leave the rushing offense ranked 85th. Add it up the, and package results in the 115th ranked scoring offense. The team has done a decent job at protecting the football, ranking 46th in turnover margin, and have kept Uiagalelei clean, ranking 48th in sacks allowed. This offense has broken something and considering it has looked the same throughout the season; it does not seem the coaching staff has their finger on a fix.
Suppose there is a positive, the defensive performance with a unit that ranks third nationally in scoring allowed. The team has been average against the pass with the 51st defense and has performed well in the run game, standing 29th. This unit is talented, led by potential first-round picks in CB Andrew Booth Jr. and DE Xavier Thomas. College football fans will be very familiar with the duo of LB James Skalski and S Nolan Turner. This unit is capable of winning games. Unfortunately, the offense has forced them into that position weekly.
Jordan Travis has taken over at QB for Florida St during their winning streak, but his limitations in the passing game have been evident as the offense ranks 106th. This team makes it happen on the ground with the 13th ranked rushing offense led by a three-headed trio of Travis and RBs Jashaun Corbin and Treshaun Ward. The offense has been respectable in ranking 46 nationally in scoring, though much of that production was due to 59 points against UMass last week. The team has struggled to take care of the ball (109th in turnover margin) and protect the QB, ranking 90th in sacks allowed.
Defensively the team has not been impressive, ranking in the bottom half in most categories. The run defense ranks 79th, and the pass defense is a similar level of mediocre at 71. These units have cumulated in the 74th ranked scoring defense. DE Jermaine Johnson II has been a star as his 6.5 sacks lead a group that ranks 31st nationally. This unit has played better lately after starting the year off with a difficult matchup vs. Notre Dame.
- In their last 15 games vs. Clemson, Florida St is 4-11 ATS
- Florida St is 2-4 ATS this season
- Clemson is 0-8 in their previous 8 ATS
Clemson’s 0-8 ATS run says everything about the current state of the program. Hypothetically Clemson is due to put it all together, and their talent would win out. But we have not seen that scenario play out in any game this year. It concerns Florida St’s strength in the run game matches against Clemson’s rush defensive strength, but the 9.5 line is high for Clemson’s current performance.
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