Florida State took the opening kickoff and drove down the field quickly, capping a 75-yard trek to the endzone on a 20-yard touchdown run from Jordan Travis.
Clemson punted their first possession away after only gaining 3 yards, but a Myles Murphy sack on 3rd down gave the ball back to the Tigers for their second drive of the night. This one was much more productive, featuring Clemson's longest offensive play from scrimmage this year. On his own 41, DJ sidestepped a blitz and tossed a 59-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Williams to even things at 7-7.
The Seminoles responded well, commanding a 15-play, 93-yard march that took up nearly 7 minutes and ended in a 4th and goal touchdown run from the 1.
Florida State was finding success early and often on the ground, and it looked like Clemson might be in for a shootout in Doak Campbell stadium.
The Tigers put together an excellent drive of their own, working 6 and a half minutes off the clock for 75 yards over 13 plays. On 2nd and goal from the FSU 7, DJ surveyed the field and found Jake Briningstool for the sophomore’s fourth TD grab of the year.
Trey Benson continued to run all over the Tigers’ defense until 2 Jordan Travis incompletions forced a 3rd and 10. After a short Travis scramble to set up 4th and short, Nate Wiggins made a great play to break up the fourth down pass attempt.
DJ and Shipley fought to get back across midfield and put BT Potter in range. His 47-yard field goal was perfect, and Clemson took its first lead of the night, 17-14.
The Seminoles looked ready to tie things back up with a promising drive until Myles Murphy again made his presence felt with a forced fumble, recovered by Tyler Davis at midfield. Shipley promptly ripped off a 36-yard run and a few plays later, DJ ran it in from 5 yards out to push their lead to 24-14 at the end of the first half.
Shipley received the kickoff and burst through multiple attempted tackles for a 69-yard return. On the very next play, DJ found Davis Allen on a designed flea flicker to strike immediately, making it 31-14 just seconds into the second half.
Ruke Orhorhoro blew up FSU’s first run of the quarter, and on 4th and 5 Mike Norvell decided to throw caution to the wind and called a fake punt. The play was sniffed out and Clemson took over at the Florida State 34.
A swing pass to Phil Mafah just barely picked up a first down thanks to a hard second effort from #26. Clemson puzzlingly ran the exact same play two more times in a row before another dump-off pass to Shipley moved the chains again.
A phantom holding call against Blake Miller negated another DJ touchdown run, and the drive fizzled in the red zone and Dabo settled for the easy Potter field goal.
FSU and Clemson traded punts before the Seminoles finally started moving the ball again to run out the third quarter, down 20 points at home.
Aided by two costly Clemson penalties and some tough running from Jordan Travis, the Seminoles moved to the Clemson 8-yard line for another scoring opportunity. After two straight incompletions to Johnny Wilson, Travis was stuffed on a keeper at the 4-yard line. KJ Henry then swatted the 4th down pass attempt to deny the Seminoles any flicker of hope for a comeback.
Clemson’s next possession went nowhere and after a 53-yard punt from Swanson, FSU drove quickly down the field and scored from the 6-yard line via a Travis TD toss. With just over 9 minutes remaining, the Tigers led 34-21.
Clemson did a decent job running the clock down on the ensuing drive, draining 5:30 off the clock and all 3 of FSU’s timeouts.
Shoddy tackling and some elusive moves from Travis allowed the Seminoles to score in quick fashion, cutting the lead to six. After leading by 20 points, Clemson suddenly needed to recover an onside kick to put the game away.
Spector did just that, and Clemson ran the rest of the clock out for an underwhelming finish.