Matt Connolly

Thumbs up, thumbs down: Clemson vs. Florida State


Deshaun Watson: The junior has a quiet confidence that makes everyone on the Clemson sideline always feel as if the Tigers are going to win. Watson finished with more than 400 yards of total offense against a talented FSU defense.

Jordan Leggett: Clemson thought it would be able to get its tight end open in the middle of the field against Florida State and was right. The senior caught five passes for 122 yards, including the game-winning touchdown.

Austin Bryant: Playing in only his second game of the year after recovering from a foot injury, Bryant had a career-high two sacks. Clemson’s defense finished with six sacks and 10 tackles for loss.

Dalvin Cook: It’s hard to imagine the Florida State running back being a serious threat to win the Heisman with the Seminoles having three losses, but he certainly looked the part against Clemson. Cook rushed for 169 yards and four touchdowns with the majority of those numbers coming in the second half.


FSU’s offensive line: Yes, Cook had a monster game, but FSU allowed quarterback Deondre Francois to be sacked six times and had numerous false start penalties, including two on the final drive after driving inside the Clemson 35.

Clemson’s killer instinct: The Tigers started back-to-back drives in Florida State territory with a 14-0 lead and could have put the game away early, but the Tigers went three-and-out and Watson threw an interception on the two possessions.

FSU’s early play calling: Cook carried the ball twice on Florida State’s first 13 plays of the game.

The officials: They negated a long run by Cook with a phantom chop block call and on the ensuing possession missed a clear grab of Watson’s facemask. There were other questionable calls that went against both teams throughout the night.

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