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Clemson Football

Keys to Victory: No. 4 Clemson at Florida State

October 15, 2022

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Each week we review the game’s history, three keys to success, and Swanny’s prediction.

The Match-Up:

No. 4 Clemson (6-0, 4-0 ACC) at Florida State (4-2, 2-2 ACC)

Clemson and Florida State enter the game having previously represented the conference in the ACC Championship Game 12 times in 13 years since 2009, Dabo Swinney’s first full season as the Tigers’ head coach. Clemson represented the division (or earned a divisionless berth in 2020) in the championship game eight times in those 13 years. Florida State represented the division in four title games, and Wake Forest broke the duo’s stranglehold on berths in 2021. The Tigers and Seminoles have combined for 10 of the last 11 ACC titles.

Clemson vs. Florida State (2021)

Series History:

  • OVERALL: Clemson trails series, 14-20
  • HOME: Clemson leads series, 9-8
  • ROAD: Clemson trails series, 5-12
  • LAST MEETING: Oct. 30, 2021 (30-20, W)
  • STREAK: Clemson, Won 6

Travel Roster:

Stat of the Week:

This week, Clemson will be in search of its 10th 7-0 start in program history and its seventh such start under Swinney. Clemson opened the 1948, 1981, 2000, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, and 2020 campaigns with seven straight wins, earning a conference title (either Southern Conference or ACC) in eight of those nine seasons.

Chasing History:

Clemson is attempting to win seven consecutive games against Florida State for the first time in series history. It would be the second-longest winning streak against the Seminoles by an opponent all-time, trailing Florida’s eight-game winning streak against FSU from 1968-76.

Key 1: Over Come the Pressure Cooker

The line on tonight’s game has been a strange one all week, including a dip to Clemson -2.5 before moving up to the Tigers -4.5 at the time of this writing. From the outside looking in, this Clemson team should win tonight’s game by a touchdown or two. 

The issue, and perhaps the No. 1 reason FSU has some momentum in the spread, is probably the environment that Clemson will play in tonight.

This group-- while somewhat battle tested-- has yet to face this type of atmosphere with D.J. Uiagalelei at quarterback this season. As good as Uiagalelei has been by comparison to last year, we still haven’t seen him do it in a pressure cooker like Doak Campbell Stadium. 

If D.J. delivers as he has through the first six games, conversations about his chances to be in the Heisman hunt will grow, and Clemson’s playoff odds will skyrocket.

Key 2: Air Jordan

While the Seminoles have a huge size advantage in the downfield passing game with Johnny Wilson’s 6’7 frame at wideout, I tend to think the Tigers are better served if Jordan Travis has to count on his arm to win the game.

Travis, a shifty runner, needs to be contained to the pocket by the Tigers’ tough defensive front. If they do that, I think it makes the Seminoles offense less dynamic, forcing them to beat the Tigers heads up on offense, and that seems like a tall task to me. 

Key 3: Ground and Pound

As improved as this team has been, the running game seems to be the catalyst to the Tigers’ success and, more specifically, Uiagalelei’s role in converting big plays with his legs. 

If the Tigers can give a dose of Will Shipley and Phil Mafah, along with some heady plays by Uiagalelei on the ground, it could be the difference in escaping and blowing the roof off the Seminoles.

I really like what D.J. has done through the air, and the mix of receivers, including two huge tight ends, has given more firepower to the offense, but I think they are best when his impact comes as a part of the rushing attack.


For years, Clemson was on the opposite end of this rivalry, and in many games, all it took was one bad thing for the wheels to come off for the Tigers. I tend to think that’s where FSU is as they enter this game after losing two consecutive games.

I think the Seminoles are like a boxer on the ropes, and if Clemson lands a few haymakers, it could be an early knockout. 

The Seminoles will keep it interesting early, but a bad play here or there becomes too much for FSU to overcome, and the Tigers' defense takes over, forcing several turnovers by Travis.

Clemson 34, Florida State 14

Swanny’s Predictions: 

Date 2022 Schedule Predictions Swanny’s Prediction Actual Score ✅ or 

9-5-2022 No. 4 Clemson @ Georgia Tech 31-14 Clemson  41-10 Clemson
9-10-2022 No. 4 Clemson vs. Furman 55-7 Clemson 35-12 Clemson
9-17-2022 No. 4 Clemson vs. La. Tech 38-13 Clemson  48-20 Clemson
9-24-2022 No. 5 Clemson @ No. 21 Wake Fores 38-17 Clemson

51-45 Clemson (2OT)

10-1-2022 No. 5 Clemson vs. No. 10 NC State 34-20 Clemson 30-20 Clemson
10-8-2022 No. 5 Clemson at Boston College 42-17 Clemson 31-3 Clemson
10-15-2022 No. 4 Clemson at Florida State 34-14 Clemson

*Correct predictions in bold

Discussion from...

Keys to Victory: No. 4 Clemson at Florida State

858 Views | 0 Replies | Last: 5 mo ago by Lawton Swann
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