It’s time to grade how the Clemson Tigers performed in their 31-14 win against the Florida State Seminoles on Saturday:
Kelly Bryant had another strong game running the football, finishing with 60 yards and a touchdown. However, Bryant also fumbled twice and had some off-target throws. Still, he led the Tigers to 31 points against a Florida State defense that is as talented as any Clemson has faced all year.
Travis Etienne had a stellar game, rushing for 97 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The freshman looks like Clemson’s best option at running back. Adam Choice finished with 40 yards and also scored after not getting a carry against N.C. State. Starting running back Tavien Feaster struggled, totaling 21 yards on nine carries and fumbling near the goal line.
Clemson receivers were unable to come down with some catches they normally do. Deon Cain dropped what should have been a touchdown, and even Hunter Renfrow was unable to haul in a pass he got his hands on. Tee Higgins also missed a signal on a play and was blocking instead of running a route, forcing Bryant to throw the ball away.
D.J. Greenlee had Clemson’s longest catch of the day, hauling in a 32-yard reception. Greenlee was the only tight end to catch a pass, but the group did a nice job blocking on running plays.
Bryant was sacked only one time, on a play where he had time to throw the ball away, and the Tigers rushed for 227 yards against a tough FSU defensive front.
Even without Dexter Lawrence, the Tigers controlled the line of scrimmage, finishing with 10 tackles for loss and five sacks. Five players recorded a sack for the Tigers.
Clemson was without starting linebacker Kendall Joseph, and fellow starter Tre Lamar was injured in the game. Still, the Tigers shut down FSU’s running game, holding the Seminoles to 21 rushing yards.
Clemson had a few busts in the second half but otherwise performed well, even with Marcus Edmond and Mark Fields out for the game, Ryan Carter leaving early in the third quarter with a concussion and Tanner Muse only being able to play a few snaps with a broken bone in his hand.
Clemson got another long punt return from Ray-Ray McCloud, the Tigers did a nice job in punt coverage and kickoff coverage, and Alex Spence made his only field-goal attempt.
Clemson allowed Florida State to hang around for a while, but the Tigers ultimately put together another strong performance against a FSU squad that has tons of talent despite its now 3-6 record.