Florida State Survives Clemson in OT: 23-17

By Jason McIntyre
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Karlos Williams scored on a 12-yard run in overtime as Florida State barely defeated Clemson, 23-17, and Tallahassee collectively exhaled.

Clemson pulled a Clemson late in the 4th quarter, and in overtime, too. The Tigers, who have a wretched history of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, elected to go for it on 4th and 1 in overtime instead of kicking a field goal. Their kicker, Ammon Lakip, missed two field goals in the game, including a 23-yarder.

Clemson opted for a slow-developing run play out of the shotgun formation, and FSU snuffed it. The Seminoles scored two plays later, with Williams bouncing a run outside and scampering to the end zone to finish the game.

In the 4th quarter, after Clemson had taken a 17-10 lead, a Tigers defensive back slipped, and FSU backup QB Sean Maguire tossed an easy 74-yard TD pass to Rashad Greene. After a Clemson punt, and with Doak Campbell deafening, Maguire threw an interception, and Clemson looked to be closing in on an upset of the No. 1 team in the country.

And then, in the red zone, with less than two minutes left, it happened: Clemson’s C.J. Davidson was stripped of the ball and FSU recovered. It was the Tigers only turnover of the night.

Despite the victory, a lot of FSU concerns emerged from this game: 1) Their offensive line was incredibly porous, and Maguire took a beating. 2) FSU wasn’t able to establish a running game, (27 yards rushing when you factor in all of Maguire’s sacks). 3) Clemson true freshman QB Deshaun Watson was terrific moving the ball for Clemson against FSU, and the Tigers outgained the Seminoles 407-318. Watson had been sharing QB duties with Cole Stoudt, but Watson was so good in the first quarter, he never came out of the game.

The good news, of course, is that the schedule for FSU is a joke the rest of the way. The only team currently ranked on the schedule is Notre Dame.

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