Four national championship appearances and seven years ago, a duel between the Clemson Tigers and Florida State Seminoles qualified as the gateway to bragging rights and a spot in the conference title game. FSU was led by the likes of a defending Heisman winner (Jameis Winston), their coach was Jimbo Fisher, and the end goal served as a spot in the College Football Playoff. That ship has since sailed… in the form of a 3rd place ACC Atlantic showdown, but Saturday’s entertainment couldn’t be all the more beautiful.
Clemson fans had the privilege of watching their first double digit victory against a power five team (prayers go up to anyone who took FSU +9.5 ATS) through another clutch Will Shipley performance and a failed final lateral play on the Seminoles’ part. The Tigers remain third in the Atlantic division, (5-3 overall, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailing Wake Forest (8-0) and NC State (6-2). And yes, there is still a chance at the conference title.
RB Will Shipley
After taking a handoff from the 21-yard line, cutting inside a pair of defenders, and racing towards the end zone, RB Will Shipley gave his the team the game-winning score in another game that was a little too close for comfort. “That’s not a freshman!”, yelled Mark Jones — the play-by-play announcer — subsequent to the underclassman earning his second score of the night. And truthfully, not anything about his season total of 391 yards despite a midseason injury screams freshman. He’s the far away offensive MVP of a team that’s had some of its veterans disappoint.
RB Phil Mafah
If the Clemson offense is going to remain so one-dimensional in their offensive attack, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to see the likes of Will Shipley and Phil Mafah develop into a one-two-punch pair of backs. The dynamic duo gobbled up 197 of Clemson’s total yardage on Saturday after Kobe Pace was declared out due to COVID protocols. Mafah — another underclassman along with Shipley and Pace — registered nine carries for a season-high 69 yards in his fourth game with the Tigers.
Note: Mafah succumbed to a lower body injury on Saturday and is currently listed as day-to-day on the injury report.
WR Justyn Ross
Speaking of one-two-punches, the wide receiver core’s production derives from really only two juniors: Justyn Ross and Joseph Ngata. The former of the two wins bronze in the players of the week today, earning himself a respectable total on Halloween Eve of six receptions for 85 yards. There’s been a bit more consistency recently for the 6’ 4”, 205 pound receiver after slow starts against Georgia and South Carolina State. His exact NFL draft stop remains up in the air, although most experts have him being the second Tiger taken off the board as a late first rounder/early second rounder.
Florida State Seminoles Player of the Week: QB Jordan Travis
It’s been nine weeks since the opening week of the college football season and Florida State is just finally starting to settle in at the quarterback position. For awhile, it was McKenzie Milton. The starter named prior to the opening game of the season — Jordan Travis — was benched after a series of poor quarterback play and a separate injury. But Travis has since earned back the top honors, producing one of his better showings of the season Memorial Stadium vs. the Tigers. The sophomore signal-caller through 14 completions on 22 throws for 176 yards and a pair of touchdowns.