Well, that was much more stressful than it should've been. But the Tigers survived and have booked a trip to Charlotte to take on Miami for the ACC Championship. En route to a 31-14 victory, Clemson put together a nice string of highlights, such as this number from Tre Lamar.
Not going to lie, I'm still impressed that James Blackman got up from this. His 6'5" 169 pound self getting hit by a full speed Tre Lamar? That could've been bad for him. But he got up, and the Tigers took over setting up this play.
Kelly ran angry on this drive and it culminated in a two yard touchdown.
After a Tavien Feaster fumble on the two, the Noles took over but were shut down, leading to Logan Tyler having to punt from his own endzone, allowing Ray Ray McCloud to make some magic.
Two weeks in a row we see Ray Ray make a huge play on punt return. I think the STS Twitter account said it best
In 2 weeks Ray Ray has gone from special teams problem child to the greatest punt returner in American history #FactsOnly— Shakin’ the Southland (@STSouthland) November 11, 2017
But seriously, last year and early on in this year, many of us groaned when Ray Ray went back to return punts, because while he had the ability for a big play, he also had the ability to drop the ball. Well, over the past two weeks Ray Ray has been astounding, and the only logical reason is his switch from #34 to #21. #21 has allowed Ray Ray to channel his inner Derrick Hamilton and become a threat in the return game, as well as his inner 21 Savage by entering Savage Mode. This return set up a nice Travis Etienne touchdown to put Clemson up 14-0
In the second half, we saw FSU climb back into the game while Clemson's offense sputtered. FSU cut Clemson's lead to 17-14. With just under seven minutes left in the game, Kelly Bryant coughed up what looked to be a costly fumble. However, Van Smith had something to say about that.
Ball game. Van picks that off and sets up a another Etienne touchdown to give Clemson a 24-14 lead which would hold until 36 seconds left in the game.
Adam Choice puts on the finishing touches of this one and gives Clemson the 31-14 win. Usually you'd expect Dabo and company to call a kneel here and run out the clock, but not here. Maybe Dabo was upset about Emmett Rice's antics after his cheap shot on Ryan Carter. Maybe Dabo wanted to give us some style points for the playoff voters. Maybe Dabo just doesn't like Florida State. Who knows, but I was very happy to see the Tigers go for blood there and score. And, for those with financial interests in the game, that line allowed Clemson to cover.
Speaking of Rice, talk about a lack of class. Wow. Last week we thought NC State's sportsmanship was poor, but Rice basically said "hold my beer". And as of today he has gone through and "favorited" all the tweets mentioning his illegal hit on Ryan Carter and his celebration of it. It was sickening, but what really was bad was the way his teammates and coaches joined in with him.
Get penalized for targeting for a dirty hit that potentially could've severely injured an opponent? If you're FSU that warrants a choreographed handshake and smiles.
Oh, and some laughs and handshakes from your coaches. Look, I understand that FSU has three wins and has rescheduled their game with UL-Monroe to try to salvage their chance to play in a trash bowl game, but come on. You're better than this, FSU. Jimbo, please address this. This is not the look you want for your program, and this shouldn't be tolerated. That being said, Rice is only a sophomore, and assuming he is still on the team next year, I imagine our team will make sure he gets retribution in Tallahassee.