Any hope that the appearance of Clemson on the other side of the line of scrimmage would inspire a Florida State-like performance from these underachieving Seminoles has gone unfulfilled through one half in Death Valley East. Clemson holds a 17-0 lead over Florida State at the break.
Both of Clemson’s scores came with help from Florida State. The first was set up by a fumble by Florida State quarterback James Blackman, which Clemson’s Tre Lamar recovered at the FSU 20-yard line. Kelly Bryant rushed in from two yards out to put the Tigers up at the 2:51 mark of the first quarter.
Clemson threatened to add a second score midway through the second quarter, but Travis Feaster fumbled the ball at the FSU 1, and Demarcus Christmas hopped on the ball for Florida State. However, Clemson forced a punt from inside the Florida State end zone, and Ray Ray McCloud returned the boot 35 yards to the FSU 28. Travis Etienne raced in for Clemson’s second score on play later.
Bryant nearly gave away another red zone fumble on Clemson’s final drive of the half, with three Florida State defenders touching a loose football inside the FSU 10. But Bryant out-hustled all three of them to get the ball back, allowing Alex Spence to bang in a 26-yard field goal with 1:39 left before the break.
Bryant completed 12-of-15 passes in the half, but for just 80 yards. He leads the club with 13 carries for 41 yards and a score, and as a team Clemson has rushed 26 times for 104 yards.
Blackman battled through a miserable half, completing 3-of-11 passes for 23 yards while being credited with minus-23 rushing yards with a fumble on five carries. Cam Akers was the lone bright spot for the Seminoles’ offense with 40 yards on nine carries. All in all, Florida State gained 42 yards and achieved three first downs in the half.
Florida State will receive to start the second half.