The game between the No. 3 ranked Clemson Tigers and the No. 5 ranked Florida State Seminoles was supposed to be a matchup to determine ACC supremacy within the conference. The game was billed as a showdown between two evenly matched teams who had high-octane offenses. However, on Saturday night in Death Valley, the Seminoles proved why they are a legitimate national title contender with a decisive 51-14 victory.
The Seminoles offense started fast and never looked back in opening up a 27-7 halftime lead. Florida State ripped the Tiger’s defense for 565 total yards of offense. Quarterback Jameis Winston was on fire connecting on 22 of 35 passes for 444 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.
Winston’ success was due large in part to the play of the Seminoles wide receivers. The receiving corps stretched the field against the Tigers secondary and burned Clemson early in the ball game. The Seminoles receivers showed speed and the ability to fight for the football. With Clemson’s wide receiver Sammy Watkins grabbing most of the headlines entering the game, the Seminoles receivers showcased their talents and gave fans a glimpse of their tremendous upside ability.
Kelvin Benjamin opened the scoring on an acrobatic 22-yard touchdown pass in which he jumped over two Tiger defenders for the ball. The sophomore had three receptions for 62 yards and one touchdown. More impressively, was the play of junior wide receiver Rashad Greene. Greene had a game-high eight receptions and finished with 146 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
The Seminoles utilized the big play ability of tight end Nick O’Leary in the vertical passing game. Winston located O’Leary on a 94-yard connection that led to a Seminole touchdown early in the fourth quarter. The coaching staff utilized O’Leary in the short to intermediate passing game that opened up the deep balls for Greene and Benjamin. O’Leary finished the game with five receptions for 161 yards.
The Seminoles proved why they are a national title contender and credit the receivers for stepping up in Florida State’s biggest game of the year.
Florida State moved to 6-0 on the season and 4-0 in the ACC. The Seminoles will face the NC State Wolfpack next Saturday at home.