NOTES: Clemson at Florida State

Florida State has a 15-6 advantage in the series with Clemson, but the Tigers have won the last three and four of the last five.

Clemson vs. Florida State Series
Florida State has a 15-6 advantage in the series with Clemson, but the Tigers have won the last three and four of the last five. Clemson became the first ACC school to defeat the Seminoles three years in a row when it won last year at Clemson by a 24-18 score. The current Clemson seniors will have a chance to become the first ACC senior class to beat the Seminoles four straight years. Wake Forest has won three in a row over Florida State, including this year's win in Tallahassee.

Clemson won last year by the 24-18 score, as James Davis rushed for 102 yards in 18 attempts. In 2006, Davis scored the game winning touchdown on a one yard run with eight seconds left.

Clemson won the 2005 game at Clemson in Charlie Whitehurst's last home game by a 35-14 score. It was his second career win over the Seminoles as he also gained victory by a 26-10 score in 2003. Florida State's last win came in 2004 at Florida State by a 41-22 score.

Clemson's other two wins in the series took place at Florida State, in 1976 and in 1989. The 1989 victory came in Danny Ford's last year as Clemson coach, a 34-23 victory. The Tigers used a 73-yard scoring run by Terry Allen and a 73-yard interception return by Wayne Simmons, to jump to a 28-10 halftime lead. That was Florida State's last loss that year and the Seminoles went on to a 10-2 record and number-three final ranking in the AP poll. Clemson also concluded the season 10-2 and ranked 12th in the final AP poll.

Florida State won 11 consecutive games in the series prior to Clemson's victory in 2003. All the wins were recorded by Bobby Bowden, who has a 13-6 all-time record against Clemson. Bobby Bowden has lost his last three appearances at Clemson's Death Valley, but his 6-3 record is still the most victories by an opposing head coach in the facility. Vince Dooley (Georgia) is second with five.

The Clemson vs. Florida State games between 1999-07 were known as The Bowden Bowl, as Clemson was coached by Tommy Bowden and Florida State by Bobby Bowden. Bobby had a 5-4 advantage in those nine games, but Tommy won the last three. It is the only meeting of father and son head coaches in Division FBS history. The first Bowden Bowl came in 1999, a 17-14 victory for Florida State. That FSU team went on to win the national championship and the 17 points and three-point victory margin were the smallest for Florida State in that championship season.

Clemson will face a top 25 Florida State team for the 19th consecutive time when the two teams meet in Tallahassee. Florida State has been ranked in the top 25 for every meeting since 1988. The Seminoles are ranked 24th in both polls this week. Five of Clemson's six wins in the series have been against top 20 Florida State teams. The only time Clemson beat an FSU team not ranked in the top 25 was in 1976 when Clemson won 15-12 in Bobby Bowden's first year as head coach.

Rundown of Last Nine Clemson vs. FSU Games
1999—The 1999 game was a festive atmosphere at Clemson as an all-time record crowd of 86,092 attended the game. That record will probably stand for many years due to existing fire codes at Clemson Memorial Stadium. In addition to the hype concerning the first coaching match-up of father vs. son, Bobby Bowden was going for his 300th career victory. He got the win with a struggle, 17-14. It was the closest the Seminoles came to losing in their 1999 National Championship season. Clemson had two offensive touchdowns to Florida State's one and the Florida State 17 points were the fewest scored by the Seminoles in 1999. Clemson drove to the FSU 25 with two minutes left, but a 41-yard field goal attempt by Tony Lazzara was tipped at the line of scrimmage and FSU ran out the clock from there.

2000-Florida State won in Tallahassee by a 54-7 score. Clemson entered the game with an 8-1 record and #10 national ranking, while FSU was fourth in the nation. It was just the third meeting of top 10 teams in ACC history. Clemson was coming off a 31-28 last second loss to Georgia Tech that had broken an eight- game winning streak, the longest for the Tigers under Tommy Bowden. Florida State gained 771 yards of total offense, most ever against the Tigers, including an opponent record 521 through the air. Florida State running back Davy Ford, the brother of current Clemson receiver Jacoby Ford, had an 82 yard run in the game, longest against a Tommy Bowden coached Clemson team.

2001—In a game at Death Valley, Clemson gained 463 yards of total offense, its high total ever against Florida State, but still lost 41-27. The Tigers could not stop freshman quarterback Chris Rix, who threw for 369 yards, leading FSU to 557 yards of total offense. Woody Dantzler kept it interesting with 336 yards of total offense, but it was not enough as FSU won for the sixth straight time under Bobby Bowden in Death Valley. His six wins are the most by a Clemson opponent in the facility that dates to 1942. Clemson ran a fake punt for a touchdown, but the play was called back because Clemson only had 10 men on the field (not enough on the line of scrimmage)

2002—Florida State came away with a 48-31 victory in a game that was televised on a Thursday night in Tallahassee by ESPN. Clemson's 31 points were the most for the Tigers in Tallahassee since 1989. Clemson won the total offense battle, 441-386, as Willie Simmons had a career high 343 yards of offense. J.J. McKelvey had five catches for 117 yards to help the offense. Florida State got a 97-yard kickoff return from Leon Washington and Greg Jones had 165 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Clemson did successfully execute an on-side kick, still the only on-side kick for the Tigers since 1979.

2003- Clemson finally defeated Bobby Bowden in Death Valley with a 26-10 victory. He had been 6-0 at Clemson prior to this game. It was the second of what would be just three losses for Florida State in 2003. They were coming off a 38-0 win at Notre Dame, and Clemson was coming off a 45-17 loss at Wake Forest. Florida State was ranked third in the nation entering the game and that is still the highest ranked team Clemson has defeated in its history. Charlie Whitehurst threw for 272 yards to lead Clemson as Bobby Bowden suffered a lost on his birthday for the only time in his career.

2004—Justin Miller set an NCAA record with 282 kickoff return yards, but the eighth- ranked Seminoles defeated Clemson 41-22 in Tallahassee. Clemson had five turnovers on offense and gained just 173 yards. The Seminoles had 33 more plays than Clemson. However, it was still a 24-22 game with four minutes left in the third period. But, FSU scored the last 17 points of the game. Leon Washington's 35-yard touchdown run in the third period was the key.

2005—Clemson won for the second time in three years with a 35-14 victory at Death Valley. Clemson scored 21 points in the third period to blow the game open. Charlie Whitehurst threw for 269 yards on his senior day and Chansi Stuckey caught 11 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns. Clemson did not allow a touchdown by the 16th ranked Seminoles. The victory was the 50th for Tommy Bowden in his Clemson career.

2006—James Davis scored on a one-yard run with just eight seconds left to lead Clemson to a 27-20 victory at Florida State. It was the closest score in a Bowden Bowl since the first Bowden Bowl in 1999. Florida State was ranked ninth in the nation entering the contest and the Tigers were unranked after losing the previous week to Boston College in overtime. Clemson held Florida State to 204 yards of total offense, and it was just the third home ACC loss for Florida State in 57 home ACC games. Gaines Adams had seven tackles, including 2.5 sacks to key the Clemson defense.

2007— Clemson had a 24-3 halftime lead, then hung on for a 24-18 win over Florida State in the season opener on Labor Day night. Clemson defeated a 19-ranked Florida State team in the process. Cullen Harper became the first Clemson quarterback in history to beat a ranked team in his first start. James Davis had 102 yards rushing on 18 carries to lead the Tigers.

Tigers Face Bobby Bowden on his Birthday
Bobby Bowden will turn 79 years old on Saturday (Nov. 8), when Clemson faces Florida State. Bowden has a 3-1 record on his birthday as Florida State head coach and the only loss was to a Clemson team coached by his son, Tommy Bowden, in 2003. Clemson won that game 26-10 over a third-ranked Florida State team and that is still the highest ranked team Clemson has defeated in its history.

Bowden was born in Birmingham, AL on November 8, 1929. Clemson's interim head coach, Dabo Swinney, was also born in Birmingham, AL. His date of birth was November 20, 1969, so Swinney will be 38 when the game is played this Saturday, but will turn 39 the Thursday before Clemson's game at Virginia.

Getting back to Bobby Bowden, he has a 13-6 record against Clemson in his coaching career. All the meetings have been since he became Florida State's head coach in 1976. He has a 6-3 record against Clemson in Clemson Memorial Stadium and those six wins are the most by any opposing coach in Death Valley. He has a 7-3 record against Clemson in Tallahassee.

Conversely, Clemson has beaten Bowden six times since he has been the head coach at Florida State. That is the third most wins over Bowden as Seminoles coach in his 33 years with the program. Miami has the most wins with 20, while Florida is second with 16. Clemson has six, followed by five for Auburn and NC State.

If Clemson gains victory on Saturday it would give Clemson four straight wins over the Seminoles. This would be the first ACC senior class to have a sweep of Florida State. The University of Florida has defeated Florida State four straight years entering this year and Wake Forest won a third straight with its victory earlier this year. But, Clemson could become the first ACC school to do it as an ACC school. Miami (FL) defeated Florida State six times in a row between 2000-04, but the Hurricanes were not in the ACC at the time.

Fisher vs. Koenning
The matchup between Florida State's offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher and Clemson defensive coordinator Vic Koenning is an intriguing one. Fisher is in his second year at Florida State after seven successful seasons at LSU in the same capacity. In 2006 LSU was 11th in the nation in total offense and ninth in scoring, thanks in part to the play of number-one NFL draft choice Jamarcus Russell, who was third in the nation in passing efficiency last year. Florida State leads the ACC in total offense and scoring offense so far this year.

Koenning has taken Clemson to a top 25 national ranking in all four major defensive statistical categories in each of the last three years, the first time Clemson has been done three straight years. Clemson is 16th in the nation in total defense this year.

Clemson won the contest last year by a 24-18 score. Clemson held Florida State to 256 yards of total offense and just eight first downs in that victory.

Koenning and Fisher have competed against each other before. In 2004, when Koenning was defensive coordinator at Troy, his Trojans went to LSU and faced Fisher's LSU offense. The result was a 24-20 LSU win in front of a Tigers homecoming crowd of over 89,000. LSU had to score a fourth quarter touchdown to gain the victory, an important win for the defending National Champions on the way to a 9-3 season in 2004.

LSU gained just 57 yards rushing that night, the fewest by Fisher's offense all year. They would end the year 20th in the nation in rushing with an average of 193 per game. Troy would end that year eighth in the nation in rushing defense. Top Stories