Florida State went into Death Valley on Saturday night and simply crushed the 5th ranked Clemson Tigers. The Noles were led by another remarkable peformance by Jameis Winston who completed 22 of 34 for 444 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also added a touchdown on the ground while using his legs at key points in the game. It was also an inspired and dominant performance by the Florida State defense holding Clemson and Tajh Boyd far below their season averages.
From the very start, this had the makings of a good night in South Carolina as the the Noles forced a fumble on the very first play from scrimmage. Just plays later, Jameis Winston found Kelvin Benjamin for acrobatic touchdown catch to give the Noles a quick 7-0 lead.
After a Clemson punt, the Seminole drove 77 yards before the drive stalled and Roberto Aguyao booted a 28 yard field goal. On the ensuing Tiger posession, Lamarcus Joyner flew in from the right side of the line and sacked Tajh Boyd causing a fumble that was scooped up and returned by Mario Edwards Jr. 37 yards for a 17-0 lead that the Noles would never look back from.
Clemson would claw back into the game with a nice touchdown drive to answer and cut the lead to 17-7. That score would stand for about half of the 2nd quarter before Rashad Greene got loose on a 72 yard touchdown catch and run. That was the bulk of a 4 play 95 yard drive after Florida State was backed way up by a Clemson punt.
Aguayo would boot his second field goal of the half with just seconds remaining after a clutch 13 play 72 yard drive that saw Winston hit a couple of key passes after being backed up to 2nd and 29 with under a minute in the 2nd quarter remaining.
The 2nd half got off to a great start when Levonte Whitfield took the kickoff 43 yards and Florida State got another 15 yards on a facemask. From there, Winston led a short 42 yard drive capped off by his third touchdown pass of the game, the second to Greene to give the Noles a 34-7 lead early in the 3rd quarter.
The game was pretty much over by that point as Clemson had not been able to generate much of an offensive threat all night thanks to a relentless Florida State defense that didn’t allow much separation at all for the Clemson wide receivers. The Nole defense also did a great job forcing turnovers and capitalizing on Clemson mistakes. In all, the Noles collected 4 turnovers from the Tigers, 3 by quarterback Tahj Boyd.