#1. BIG PLAYS
Yes Clemson must win the turnover battle to have a chance to win this game, but it also has to do a better job creating big plays. Florida State had an astonishing seven plays of 20 yards or longer last season in this matchup while the Tigers had none. That can't happen Saturday night. Artavis Scott has to continue to develop in the downfield passing game and Clemson's quarterbacks have to be accurate when he gets open against FSU's ultra-talented secondary. In addition, the Tigers have to take advantage of Sean McGuire making his first start. He has an NFL arm but limited experience. Brent Venables has to dial up pressure early to force him into mistakes. If that doesn't happen, it could be a long night.
#2. START STRONG - SILENCE THE CROWD
There's something about playing in Doak Campbell stadium when the FSU defense gets the crowd involved. Whether it's the Tomahawk Chop or the band blaring the infamous war chant directly at the opposition, once the Florida State faithful become engaged, it becomes a very difficult environment to operate your offense in. Clemson needs something big to happen early in its favor to help negate this. FSU did it to Death Valley a year ago, now it's the Tigers' turn. Do something early that shows last year's blowout was a fluke.
3. RUN RUN RUN
The strength of the FSU defense is in its secondary. That doesn't mean the front seven is chopped liver mind you, but it may be in Clemson's best interest to truly focus on the ground game. Establish Wayne Gallman or Adam Choice to create play-action opportunities later on. Execute the zone read with both Cole Stoudt and Deshaun Watson to see if you can keep FSU's front seven on its heels. The Tigers have a done a reasonable job on the ground against the 'Noles in recent matchups, but they need to be even more productive to win this game. If an upset is to happen, Clemson needs to rush for around 200 yards. Period.
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