Clemson’s first play from scrimmage against Florida State was a nine-yard pass from Tajh Boyd to Stanton Seckinger.
Good start, right?
Not exactly. Seminole defensive back LaMarcus Joyner forced Seckinger to fumble and the Seminoles suddenly took over at the Tiger 34-yard line.
Three plays later, Jameis Winston found Kelvin Benjamin for a 22-yard touchdown pass and, just like that, the Seminoles led, 7-0, and Death Valley got quiet.
On Clemson’s third possession (down 10-0 following an FSU field goal), Joyner sacked Boyd, who fumbled the ball away to Mario Edwards, who took the ball in for a 37-yard scoop-and-score.
That made it 17-0 in favor of FSU.
Later in the half, with the Seminoles leading, 24-7, the Tigers looked in good shape at the FSU 25-yard line. A touchdown would probably put Clemson in good position to make a game of it.
But then — you guessed it — Joyner stepped up and intercepted a Boyd pass at the FSU seven-yard line. Threat over.
Meanwhile, Winston sliced and diced the Clemson secondary to the tune of 242 yards and two touchdowns on 14 of 21 passing. Boyd was less stellar, completing 11 of 24 for 99 yards with the score and the pick.
But make no mistake, this was Joyner’s first half. The 5-foot-8, 194-pounder single-handedly sunk Clemson with two forced fumbles, a sack and an interception. Assuming the ‘Noles hold on, one of the smallest players on the field might’ve handed the Seminoles the biggest win of the season thus far.