The Clemson Tigers did the unthinkable Saturday night. Not only did they upset the #3 ranked team in the country, they did it in convincing fashion.
In reality, the game wasn't even as close as the 26-10 score indicated.
Behind a suffocating defense and a consistent offense, the Tigers controlled the game from start to finish to help knock FSU from any hope of contending for a national title.
"We just came out and really stuck it to them," said Charlie Whitehurst. "It's a great feeling to finally show the nation what Clemson football is all about."
The Tigers (6-4, 4-3 ACC) snapped an 11-game losing streak to FSU and also gave Tommy Bowden his first win in five tries over his father, Bobby.
The game was exciting from the start as Clemson would get on the scoreboard first when Aaron Hunt drilled a 23-yard field goal with 8:25 left in the first quarter.
After taking a 3-0 lead into the second quarter, Hunt would add to the Tigers lead once again, this time connecting from 37-yards out to push the lead to 6-0.
While the offense kept the speedy FSU defense off balance with a nice mix of the run and the short passing game, the defense played it's best football of the season. Simply put, the Tigers turned the Seminoles in to a one-dimensional team by bringing continual pressure on FSU quarterback Chris Rix.
"Take nothing away from Clemson," said Rix in the locker room. "They did some things on defense that really confused us some. They did some things we hadn't really seen before."
After moving the ball throughout the first half, but failing to get into the endzone, the Tigers would finally put 6 points on the board when Charlie Whitehurst scored from one-yard out on a quarterback sneak. The 65-yard drive was highlighted by a 51-yard completion to Kevin Youngblood.
Clemson would take a 13-0 lead into halftime.
The second half contiued to showcase the Clemson defense as FSU quarterback Chris Rix struggled to get anything going offensively. After throwing his second interception of the game, he was benched in favor of back up Fabian Walker.
The Seminoles would fail to score a touchdown until a 71-yard reception from Walker to Chauncy Stovall, with 2:14 left in the game. By that time, it was over.
Whitehurst connected with Derrick Hamilton on a 59-yard bomb for a touchdown with just 1:23 left in the 3rd quarter to give the Tigers a comfortable 23-3 lead.
Walker's touchdown pass and a 37-yard field goal by Hunt closed out the scoring.
FSU managed only 11 yards net rushing Saturday evening, while the Tigers 152 yards on 50 carries.
"I told him that his job should probably be good for about another five days," Bobby Bowden said after the game. "I'm happy for him, but I'm not happy for us. You knew that something like this was coming sooner or later, but this was very unlikely tonight.
After the game, the fans stormed the field and tore down both goal posts in only a matter of seconds.
Clemson Pounds #3 Florida State
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