Another devastating loss

Missed opportunities sealed Clemson's fate Saturday night in the 16-13 loss to Florida State at Doak Campbell Stadium Saturday night.

A week before, Florida State kicker Dustin Hopkins missed a game-winner against North Carolina.

As time expired Saturday night, his 55-yard kick Saturday night sailed right down the middle.

The loss nixes the Tigers' pursuit of consecutive ACC Atlantic Division titles and delays bowl eligibility for at least one more week.

"It's certainly is awfully disappointing to move the ball the way we did up and down the field and not win the game," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said afterwards.

Indeed. The Tigers piled up 391 yards of total offense, picked up 25 first downs and possess the ball for over 33 minutes. And all were more than the Seminoles' totals.

"We won a lot of statistic battles, but we didn't win it on the scoreboard," Swinney said. "It's really disappointing. It's too many missed opportunities."

Three different opportunities for scores and zero points. Two came on special teams as the Clemson kicking woes continued.

Nigel Bradham blocked Chandler Catanzaro's first attempt—a 34-yarder in the first quarter.

Catanzaro then missed another in the third quarter. After the game, Swinney said holder Michael Wade took responsibility for the miss, because the ball was snapped before Catanzaro gave the ready.

The third chance for points was squandered because of a turnover when Kyle Parker, on the first play of the fourth quarter, threw an interception in Florida State end zone.

"It's pretty much the story of the game," Swinney said. "But I'm extremely proud of our team's effort. We had some tremendous individual team effort."

Jamie Harper rushed for a game-high 143 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries. He also caught nine passes for 54 yards to set a single-game school record for receptions by a running back.

His first touchdown capped the game's opening drive, which last 12 plays for 82 yards.

On the ensuing drive, Hopkins cut the score to 7-3 with a 28-yard field goal.

Catanzaro then hit a 23-yard field goal with 7:13 left in the second quarter to give Clemson a 10-3 lead, which held through halftime.

Hopkins hit from 39 yards on Florida State's first drive of the second half to cut Clemson lead to 10-6.

The Seminoles finally took the lead on an 8-yard fourth quarter run by E.J. Manuel, who played in place of Christian Ponder.

Manuel's score was just the fifth touchdown the Tigers' defense has allowed in as many games.

"They've really done a good job of keeping people out of the end zone," said defensive coordinator Kevin Steele. "You've got to hold them to less than what they get."

After two misses, Catanzaro tied the game 13-13 with less than a minute to play on a 29-yard kick.

"I just went out there confident, do what I've been doing and trust my technique," he said.

Fifty-three seconds later, the game was over. FSU quickly moved into field goal range courtesy of a long pass and a pass interference penalty against Clemson.

Another loss that just as easily could have been a win.

"It's very difficult," Parker said. "Anytime you experience tough losses, it's hard to move on. It really tests your character. The biggest thing is, you just have to continue to play for each other and go out there and continue to work hard."

The loss drops Clemson to 5-5, 3-4 ACC. Florida State improves to 7-3, 5-2 ACC.

"We've got to move on," Swinney said. "We've got a chance to go get bowl eligible next week. We've got to move on, try to win a game on the road, to get bowl eligible."

Clemson is back on the road next week at Wake Forest, which starts at 2. Top Stories