Instant Analysis: ACC Atlantic Champs!!


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Etienne finished with 97 yards on 14 carries
Etienne finished with 97 yards on 14 carries

CLEMSON – ACC Atlantic Champs!!

The Tigers claimed their third division title in as many years as Clemson knocked off Florida State 31-14 Saturday night in Death Valley, punching their ticket to Charlotte for the ACC Championship Game on December 2nd. Clemson has now defeated Florida State for three consecutive years.

Clemson improves to 9-1 overall and finishes 7-1 in the ACC. Florida St. falls to 3-6 overall and 3-4 in the ACC. The Seminoles have to win their final three games to qualify for a bowl game.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Clemson doesn’t beat Florida State without Travis Etienne. The freshman and Louisiana native was money in crunch time. In the second quarter, took a hand off 28 yards to the house, for Clemson’s second touchdown in the second quarter. Late in the game when Clemson’s offense was struggling and needing something good to happen, Etienne fought through tacklers for runs of 25 and four yards before punching it in for a touchdown to put Clemson up by 10. Etienne finished the game with 14 carries for 97 yards – an average of 6.9 yards per carry.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME: Van Smith’s fourth quarter interception was by far one of the biggest plays in the game, but without the reserves stepping when several starters were out, Clemson wouldn’t have won the game. Albert Huggins had by far his best game starting in place of the injured Dexter Lawrence. J.D. Davis started in place of Kendall Joseph. Chad Smith played most of the game in place of Tre Lamar who went out with an arm injury. Freshman A.J. Terrell entered the game in the third quarter when Ryan Carter went out with a concussion.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

Blackman run over: On Florida State’s second drive, Austin Bryant hit FSU quarterback James Blackman, who was extremely slow getting back to the huddle. Two plays later, Tre Lamar came off of the left side and knocked Blackman to the ground jarring the ball loose. Lamar recovered the forced fumble, setting up Clemson’s first score of the game. Six plays later and a two-yard run by Kelly Bryant and Clemson led the Seminoles 7-0.

Carter targeted: Ryan Carter was knocked out of the game in the third quarter due to a hit from Florida State linebacker Emmett Rice during a punt return. The play was away from the ball when Rice hit Carter squarely in the helmet. Carter stayed down for several minutes before being helped off the field and was later taken to the locker room. Before the hit, Crter had been credited with a pass breakup and was having a solid game.

Van Smith’s pick: Midway through the fourth quarter, Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant fumbled for the second time, giving the Seminoles the ball on the 40 yard line as the Tigers were clinging to a three-point lead. On the first play of the drive, Smith read Blackman perfectly and intercepted a pass over the middle and returned it 38 yards.

STAT OF THE GAME:Clemson ran 82 plays and won the time of possession battle by 13 minutes.

UP NEXT:Clemson has a week to hopefully get everyone healthy with a game against in-state foe The Citadel for Military Appreciation Day next Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:20 p.m.

Florida State hosts Delaware State in a noon game.

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