Coming into the third quarter, Clemson had all but asserted itself early in the first half on both sides of the ball, and looked in peak October form. It is only a missed 24-yard field goal by BT Potter that would be one of the few opportunities the Tigers failed to capitalize on. Despite that, Clemson asserted itself early and often in the first half, while Florida State seemed as though they didn’t have anything in their arsenal for a response. Set to receive the second half kickoff, we start the third quarter following a touchback kick from Potter:
3rd Quarter: FSU 0, Clemson 28
FSU Ball: Punt
Three-and-out. 33-yard punt by Tommy Martin. Fair catch by Clemson at the CLEM 33.
Clemson Ball: Touchdown
1st & 10 (12:26) - Following three straight handoffs to Etienne to take the ball to the Clem 44, Travis Etienne breaks off a long 27-yard run to the FSU 29.
1st & 10 (11:49) - Next play, Amari Rodgers scores on a 29 yard reverse, courtesy of a great fake from the offense, which fooled the defense into flowing with ETN on the play. Steven Sawicki comes out for the PAT, which is successful.
3rd Quarter: FSU 0, Clemson 35
(11:49 - 3rd) - B.T. Potter 65-yard kickoff (Touchback)
3rd & 13 (11:04 - 3rd) - Forced into 3rd and long, a defensive holding nullifies a Nolan Turner interception and advances the ball to the FSU 32 for an automatic 1st down.
3rd & 4 (9:39 - 3rd) - FSU’s relief is short-lived, as James Blackman’s pass is intercepted for by Derion Kendrick, who returns it 38 yds for a TD. Isaiah Simmons applied some stellar pressure to force Blackmon to throw an uncessary ball off his backfoot (Steven Sawicki kick is good).
FSU 0, Clemson 42
FSU Ball: Fumble
(9:39 - 3rd) - 72 yard kickoff by Potter. FSU return for 19 yards to the FSU 27-yard line.
(9:24 - 3rd) - Cam Akers breaks off a 15-yard run, but fumbles (courtesy of James Skalski), and the ball is recovered by Simmons.
Clemson Ball: Fumble
(9:17 - 3rd) - Clemson’s momentum is short-lived, as running back Lyn-J Dixon fumbles the ball right back to the Seminoles.
FSU Ball: Punt
Three-and-out for FSU. Punt for 40 yards to the Clemson 15.
Clemson Ball: Turnover on Downs
(3:30) After a drive largely marred by FSU penalties and a good reception from Joe Ngata, the Tigers fail to convert on 4th down.
FSU Ball: Touchdown
(2:02) - Following an 11-yard run by Tre-Shaun Harrison, Alex Hornibrook completes a 64-yard pass to Tamorrion Terry for a TD, who managed to weave past the Clemson reserves in the secondary. Seminoles avoid a shutout.
FSU 7, Clemson 42
End of Quarter: FSU 7, Clemson 42
Start of 4th
(8:20 - 4th) - Following two consecutive possessions from both Clemson and FSU resulting in punts, the offense (led by backup Taisun Phommachanh) is able to put together an eight-play, 41 yard drive in 3:31 that culminated in a Sawicki field goal. Both Phommachanh and Mellusi put together some good running on the scoring drive.
FSU 7, Clemson 45
(4:58 - 4th) With the game having been clinched, FSU musters a six-play, 75 yard drive in 2:17 against deep Clemson reserves, which is capped off by a 40-yard run from Khalan Laborn.
Final: FSU 14, Clemson 45
Clemson started off the month of October with its fifth straight win. Both the offense and defense looked locked in (especially the former). The offensive line had its best day running the football since Georgia Tech, and it’s evident that Tony Elliott opened the playbook and allowed the offense to be more patient in taking what FSU gave them. Next, the Tigers will look to continue their winning streak on the road against the Louisville Cardinals in a noon kickoff.