Saturday features a David versus Goliath type matchup as the Florida Seminoles (2-6) play host to the No. 4 Clemson Tigers (7-1) at Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium. Kickoff for this matchup is scheduled for noon ET.
Expect Clemson to come out with a vengeance after taking its first loss in its last 37 regular-season contests just two weeks ago against the No. 2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. In the 47-40 overtime loss, the Tigers were without star quarterback and the likely No. 1 overall pick in the next NFL Draft, Trevor Lawrence. With Lawrence expected to return from COVID-19 protocols, expect the Tigers to be clicking on all cylinders in this one.
For the Seminoles, they have been struggling mightily. They have lost three in a row, and their last win was on Oct. 17, a 31-28 victory over North Carolina.
In their last three games, the Seminoles have scored an average of just over 18 points a game. Against a high-octane offense like Clemson’s, Florida State will have to step up.
To say that Clemson is the favorite would be a bit of an understatement. They are currently -10,000 to win, and the spread features the Seminoles +34.5. The Seminoles are +1800 to win while the over/under for total points is 66.5.
Looking To Start A New Streak
After 36 straight regular-season victories, the Tigers are doing something they haven’t done since 2017, trying to rebound from a loss. They will look to get a new winning streak started against Florida State.
After missing the last couple of games due to COVID-19, Lawrence is expected back under center for this one. In six games, he has thrown for 1,833 yards and 17 touchdowns. He has also rushed 29 times for 143 yards and another four scores.
The leading receiver for the Tigers has been Amari Rodgers. In eight games, he has 48 receptions for 720 yards and six touchdowns.
On the ground, Travis Etienne has led the way with 121 carries for 674 yards (5.2 yards per carry) and 10 touchdowns. He also has 37 receptions for 491 yards and another two scores.
Trying For A Monumental Upset
There are results that seem unlikely, and then there are some that seem like there is just no chance. Florida State winning this one may feel like the latter. Still, head coach Mike Norvell will try to get his Seminoles ready to play and shoot for the ultimate upset over the Tigers.
After he missed the Seminoles’ last game with an injury, there is some question as to whether Jordan Travis will start under center in this one. On the season, he has thrown for 864 yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions. He also leads the team in rushing with 85 attempts for 569 yards and six touchdowns.
If he doesn’t start, other options include James Blackman (366 yards, two touchdowns), Chubba Purdy (219 yards, two touchdowns), or Tate Rodemaker (124 yards).
Through the air, the leading receiver has been Ontaria Wilson (28 receptions for 332 yards and two touchdowns). Aside from Travis, the leading rusher has been La’Damian Webb (69 rushes, 392 yards, three touchdowns).
Clemson Wins, But Can It Cover?
There seems to be very little question that Clemson should not only win but should win big, too. The real question is whether the Tigers can cover the 34.5 points. The concern is that Clemson’s defense has left something to be desired, as it has allowed an average of just under 30 points over the last three games.
Still, Clemson has its starting quarterback back in the fold, has a lot of motivation coming off of a loss, and has had a bye week to prepare for this one. When it all adds up, it should add to a big win. I like Clemson to not only win but to cover the spread as well.