Rapid Reactions: Clemson at FSU

Clemson outplayed Florida State through most of Saturday's matchup, but the Seminoles somehow emerged victorious.

Florida State played poorly. The Seminoles played without their best player and lost one of their defensive leaders for the second half. They only rushed for 13 yards. They also won the game.

1. I have been extremely hard on Cason Beatty to date, and justifiably so, but he was absolutely fantastic tonight. For the first time since he became the punter, Florida State really needed him, and he delivered.

2. Eddie Goldman forcing the fumble inside the Florida State 20 with under two minutes to play in the fourth quarter saved the season.

3. Rashad Greene is going to be a unanimous first team All American and may win the Biletnikoff. He deserves it. Big catch after big catch after big catch.

4. The offensive line has a lot of work to do. Cam Erving and Austin Barron particularly struggled in this game. I’m more lenient towards Barron as the new starter, and he was going up against one of the best (if not the best) defensive tackles in the country in Grady Jarrett. Erving, however, is rated as one of the top offensive tackles in the country, partly because of the way he handled Vic Beasley last year. This year he lost that matchup badly.

5. This pains me to say it because I want him to be great, but Tyler Hunter is a liability in the secondary right now. He is soft and looks as if he is playing to avoid injury again.

6. Nile Lawrence-Stample is one tough man. He was visibly in pain for most of the night and was still dominant on the line.

7. Sean Maguire has a lot of work to do. First and foremost, he needs to learn to get rid of the football and trust his instincts. Too many times he double clutched and allowed the defenders to close in the secondary before making the throw.

8. It’s hard to run the ball when the offensive line isn’t blocking well, but Karlos Williams also missed several running lanes. Through three games he has seemed to lack the vision that is needed to be a great running back.

9. Bobo Wilson is the second best receiver on the team and it really isn’t close. He was the only receiver, other than Greene, that was able to get any separation.

10. Florida State saved their season tonight. This is the one game that the ‘Noles couldn’t afford lose as it would likely mean no ACC Championship game—and no playoff if that happens. Against all the odds, down 7 points in the fourth quarter with a back up quarterback, they found a way to tie the game. Then, just when it looked like the game was over, the defense forced a fumble. When Clemson needed a half-yard the defense stopped them (on two occasions). On the flip side, when Florida State needed to run the football to secure the game they were able to do that. There are many things this Florida State team needs to work on, but right now the Seminoles are still on top.

Thoughts from around the country:

1. Not really going too far around the country as I’m staying in the same game, but Deshaun Watson was absolutely fantastic. I can’t say enough about what he was able to do against a fantastic Florida State defense. He’s going to be a nightmare to play against the next two years.

2. Amari Cooper is the best receiver in the country not named Rashad Greene and dominated the Florida secondary all game long.

3. Florida and Miami were both dominated and Florida State won. That is a great day in the life of any Seminole fan.

4. Clint Trickett played his tail off tonight against Oklahoma. He has been the most improved quarterback in the country so far this season.

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