This week, #1 Clemson (8-0, 5-0 ACC Atlantic) hosts #16 Florida State (7-1, 5-1 ACC Atlantic) in a 3:30 kickoff at Memorial Stadium.
Coming off a drubbing of Syracuse, in which starting RB Dalvin Cook and QB Everett Golson sat due to injury, the Seminoles have been thrust into the unfamiliar role of would-be spoiler and underdog. With injuries mounting and another year of depth lost to the NFL, this ain't your daddy's Seminoles team. That said, expect them to show up with the mindset of ACC Champion (a distinction they've held since 2012), and bring a well-coached and deeply talented squad to the Valley.
The CFP committee saw fit to anoint Clemson #1 in its first rankings of the season — a win on Saturday will solidify that distinction (even if the SEC West matchup winner ultimately jumps us for the time being), and pave the way for Clemson to wrap up the ACC Atlantic, and finish with Sakerlina and the Coastal champ to secure a playoff berth. This certainly ranks among the biggest home games in program history, and if this season's trajectory weren't high enough stakes for ya, we'll have quite an audience of recruiting targets in attendance.
In this week's Pawcast, we look for clues around where Clemson can expose cracks in the FSU armor, and whether the Tigers are well suited to defuse Jimbo Fisher's best playmakers. Behind an offense capable of 400+ yard performances through air and land, stout defensive line play, and veteran playmakers in the back 7, we're optimistic about the Tigers' chances in this contest.
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