Clemson hands Florida State worst home loss
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — No Atlantic Coast Conference team had ever knocked off Florida State for four straight years.
Clemson spent the week making sure it would be the first.
Tigers Quarterback Trevor Lawrence of Cartersville fame threw four touchdown passes, and No. 2 Clemson handed Florida State its worst home loss in program history with a 59-10 victory on October 27, a real trick over a treat ahead of Halloween.
“This was an awesome accomplishment for our seniors,” coach Dabo Swinney said. “This was something they really wanted to do ... be that first ACC senior class to go 4-0 on these guys.”
Florida State routed Clemson 51-14 in 2013, a victory that was part of the Seminoles’ undefeated run to the national title. But since then, the Tigers have been the class of the ACC — and owned their rivalry with Florida State.
“I’m definitely honored,” defensive tackle Christian Wilkins said. “Just speaks volumes of our program and the special guys we have, the special group of seniors we have.”
Lawrence completed 20 of 37 passes for 314 yards before staying on the sideline for good late in the third quarter. Amari Rodgers had six catches for 156 yards and two touchdowns, and Tee Higgins also had two TD receptions.
Clemson (8-0, 5-0) scored 28 points in the second quarter and opened a 45-0 lead before Florida State got on the board on Ricky Aguayo’s 35-yard field goal with 4:35 left in the third quarter.
The Tigers moved to 8-0 for the seventh time in school history, including the third time in the last four seasons. Clemson also recorded backto-back wins in Tallahassee for the first time.
Florida State (4-4, 2-4) couldn’t get out of its own way, suffering its most-lopsided defeat at home — surpassing a 58-14 loss to Southern Miss in 1981. It was also the most points allowed by the Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium.
“I felt like we had some guys that quit on our football team and that’s can’t be tolerated,” Florida State coach Willie Taggart said. “You quit, you don’t play.”
Defensive end Brian Burns, who had a tackle and a quarterback hurry, agreed with Taggart’s assessment.
“Most definitely,” Burns said. “The effort level wasn’t there. The energy wasn’t there.”
Florida State had not allowed 30 points in 11 straight games, dating to the 2017 loss at Clemson. But that streak was snapped less than a minute into the third when Lawrence connected with Rodgers on a 58-yard catch and run.
Deondre Francois completed 17 of 36 passes for 180 yards and an interception for the Seminoles before departing due to injury. James Blackman came in and had a 73-yard touchdown pass to Keyshawn Helton.
Florida State was onedimensional on offense, rushing 35 times for minus21 yards. Clemson forced the Seminoles to punt 12 times, including Florida State’s first five possessions.
“Our defense set the tempo for the day right out of the gate,” Swinney said.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence throws in the first half of the game against Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla., on Saturday.