ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit is among the many college football experts to break down the highly anticipated game on Saturday night between the Florida State Seminoles and Clemson Tigers.
Earlier today, Herbstreit broke down the match-up by citing Clemson’s speed, ability to make big plays, and Tajh Boyd’s stable of playmakers to get the ball to down the field. If Florida State is to win the game — and likely take a lofty perch near the top of the BCS standings next month — getting to Boyd before he gets the ball out in space is imperative.
Last week, Clemson saw the return of Sammy Watkins from suspension. His numbers — 5 touches, 110 yards, one touchdown — were spectacular as always. Considering it was his first game, they are even more staggering.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney showed courage and strength by suspending Watkins for the first two games of the season. Losing the most talented player on the roster for a neutral site game against Auburn was a tough way to start the season. Obviously, Clemson overcame the loss and won the game.
While Swinney was shrewd in his decision, don’t discount the impact on when he decided to let Watkins return. The suspension could have been three games instead of two. That would make this game at Florida State the first game back for Watkins. If that were the case, it’s likely that Herbstreit and other pundits would be wondering about his stamina and comfort level right now instead of raving about the Clemson playmakers.
The Tigers are fast. Part of the reason for how fast they’ll be this week is the planning and execution of Watkins’ suspension by coach Swinney.