Seminoles look for revenge while fighting for Pride in showdown against No. 4 Clemson

Written by Manuel DeLeon
Tallahassee, FL- There’s an old saying that states “It’s not about how you start; it’s how you finish.” Sitting at 3-5, and well below expectations, Florida State (3-5,3-4) now has the chance to play spoiler to 4th ranked Clemson (8-1,6-1) as the Seminoles travel to Death Valley, SC to take on the Tigers.

“There’s a lot on the line as far as we have for pride and things that go on, and how you want to be perceived.” Said, coach Jimbo Fisher, Any time you play, how hard you play, how well you play. And you want to improve your stock in what you provide here for young players, how to compete and do things well.”

If you want to find youth look no further than the backfield of Florida State. Led by the dynamic duo of quarterback James Blackman and running back Dalvi….oh my bad, Cam Akers. These two look like the future of Florida State and why not a game like this to show they belong. The lanky freshman quarterback has a quarterback rating of 125.2. Blackman isn’t afraid to take his shots down the field averaging over 12 yards per completion on the year.

With injuries and lack of depth at the wide receiver position, the ‘Noles have turned to Cam Akers and their running game to shoulder the load. In his last five games, Akers has racked up 437 yards rushing.  Akers looks everything like a future N.F.L. running back. The key for the young star in the making is to remain consistent in running downhill, and over people.

“Cam really took to taking those three, five, six yard runs and being physical and straight ahead,” Fisher said. “Then all of a sudden he starts breaking them. He gets better and better each week.”

The rivalry between these two schools has heated up since the turn of the decade.  Florida State has gone 4-3 against the Tigers since 2010, though Clemson has the last two outings.

“I mean there’s been some phenomenal games.” Said Fisher

“We were just fortunate enough to make it one more play. And lately, the last few years, they made the one more play. It’s kind of nip and tuck. But they’ve done a great job in their commitment to things and their investment.”

The Seminoles face a vaunted defense in Clemson which ranks 13th in the nation. Senior linebacker Dorian O’Daniel and junior defensive end Austin Bryant lead an active defensive front that can make any game a long one for opposing quarterbacks. The Tigers have logged 33 sacks on the season, second only to Southern Cal. Who has 34.

“They bring pressure, but … a lot of it is their front four. (They have) great inside push guys. (Christian) Wilkins and (Dexter) Lawrence are both excellent, Ferrell and Bryant and all those guys are natural pass rushers. Really good guys. Will be high draft pick guys.” Said Fisher of Clemson’s pass rush.

The Noles need no added motivation for this one as the Tigers defeated the ‘Noles last season in Tallahassee 37-34.

“We play a great team this week, play one of the top four teams in the country,” Fisher said. “Clemson is playing very well, coming off a big win with against North Carolina State, who, as we know, is a very good team, played very well.”

FSU must be up and ready to go when they enter “Death Valley”. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30pm EST.

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