Scouting Florida State

CUTigers takes a closer look at Saturday's matchup with No. 11 Florida State.

* Florida State is tied with Duke, next-to-last, for rushing offense in the ACC. In three games, two against far lesser opponents than Oklahoma, the Seminoles are averaging just 96.3 rushing yards per game and 3.2 yards per carry. This was not expected with a veteran group on the offensive line. But the unit did not practice together in the spring, because so many were rehabbing injuries and the same problems reoccurred during preseason camp. The Seminoles don't have the kind of depth along the line where other players have stepped forward. The backups are newcomers.

* On defense, the Seminoles have given up just 33 points in three games, second fewest in the ACC and they rank No. 5 in total defense. But there have been some flaws. CB Greg Reid returned to one of his bad habits in biting on a deep route that led to Oklahoma's game-clinching touchdown last week. LB Nigel Bradham was twice flagged for personal foul penalties. Late in the game, the Seminoles showed some vulnerability with runs up the middle. But overall, this group has played well and gives FSU hope that trend continues at Clemson.

* Clemson has the ACC's second-most productive offense (522.7 yards per game) with a nice balance between rushing (216.7) and passing (306.0). Sophomore QB Tajh Boyd is an efficient passer in his first year as a starter with 68 completions in 101 attempts (one interception, 10 touchdowns). Freshman WR Sammy Watkins has a league high 21 catches with four of them going for touchdowns. RB Andre Ellington is an explosive runner with power. He has 300 yard rushing in three games.

* Defensively, Clemson has shown some vulnerability. The Tigers have been gouged for nearly 225 yards a game on the ground. Wofford ran for 272, which is 35 more than Auburn managed the next week. The Tigers have only two sacks, but they are plus-2 in turnover margin. DE Andre Branch has 22 tackles and S Jonathan Meeks 21 to lead in that category. Branch and LB Stephone Anthony have the only sacks.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Clint Trickett -- The Seminoles were hoping he would only be used in mop-up duty this season. Now, it seems a good possibility he will be their starting quarterback Saturday in what may be their toughest ACC game of the year. It's a nightmare scenario for the Seminoles. But the good news for them is Trickett performed admirably against Oklahoma and didn't look like a deer in headlights.

TB Devonta Freeman -- The Seminoles may turn to this freshman, their most impressive running back in preseason, to help overcome the ground game doldrums. With Ty Jones, Chris Thompson and Jermaine Thomas struggling, someone has to take the ball and run well with it.

DE Bjoern Werner -- He had his coming-out party last week on national television with a pair of sacks and numerous disruptions. With all the preseason attention focused on the other side of defensive line, where Brandon Jenkins has shined, Werner has developed into a player that gives FSU reminders of past star pass rush tandems.

INJURY WATCH: QB E.J. Manuel (shoulder, questionable), WR Jarred Haggins (hand, out), WR Kenny Shaw (concussion, doubtful), WR Bert Reed (ankle, questionable), WR Willie Haulstead (concussion, doubtful), CB Greg Reid (ankle, probable), DE Everette Dawkins (ankle, probable). Top Stories