The game Saturday started well for Florida State as they rode 2 big plays, a 49 yard grab from Lonnie Pryor and a 52 yard pick-six from Jamie Robinson, to a 17-6 lead going into the 2nd quarter. From then on it was all Clemson as the Tigers finished the game on a 34-7 run on their way to the 40-24 win in Death Valley.
Bowden Puts Game on Inability to Stop Spiller
Heading into Saturday's contest against Clemson the biggest factor the Seminole defense had to deal with was the ACC's career all-purpose leader C.J. Spiller. They were unable to do that as the Heisman candidate amassed a career high in all-purpose yards as he gained 312 on the evening. FSU Head Coach Bobby Bowden doesn't think there is a player playing better in the nation right now.
"I doubt if anybody is playing better than him in the country," said Bowden. "I look at the running back at Alabama and he is mighty good, but Spiller is such a dynamic player. The happiest I was, was when he was off the field. I knew he couldn't get the ball. We talked all week about the wheel route, and he runs it one time and it was about ninety miles per hour for a touchdown. That is why I say he is mighty hard to handle."
Bowden says that Spiller is the type of player that leads teams to National Titles.
"I would rank him pretty high," said Bowden when asked about where C.J. ranks among the great players he has seen. "The people that recruit those kind of guys, they are the ones that have a chance to win a national championship because it is people like him that can get you there. He is the kind of guy that can put you on top."
Bowden says the game ultimately came down to the emotion and the errors in the game.
"There were some critical errors," said Bowden. "We probably scored on some of their errors too. We turned the ball over and they would go down and score then we would turn it over and they wouldn't score. The game kind of went that way. We felt very comfortable, but you know you haven't won yet. Then of course the dam broke."
"I think that game is pretty easy to summarize," continued Bowden. "I thought Spiller was the difference in the ball game. He is one guy that made the biggest difference. Our problem was turnovers. I was concerned last week when our quarterback was unable to practice, and when I was interviewed yesterday, I was concerned that he would lose his timing by not throwing much. I wouldn't take a thing away from Clemson. They won. They deserved to win and made more big plays than we did. We hung with them for three and a half quarters and then Clemson won the ball game."
Ponder Injured; Questionable for Next Week
Late in the 4th quarter FSU quarterback Christian Ponder was injured while tackling DeAndre McDaniel. The biggest news after the game was that the ACC's top passer had sustained a separated right shoulder on that stop. FSU offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher addressed the media after.
"He's banged up," said Fisher. "Looks like he might have a separated shoulder. Looks like his shoulder is separated. It's the right shoulder."
There is no word yet on the injury as the coaches plan to learn more after some test are done heading into Monday. The chances of him playing next week against Wake Forest look slim at this time.
"We will have to evaluate it and see what happens," Fisher said. "I mean he has bruised ribs and a separated shoulder."
The injury means redshirt freshman E.J. Manuel will most likely get his first career start next weekend. He said after the game that Ponder told him to be ready for the challenge.
"He (Christian Ponder) told me to be ready for next week," said Manuel. "I got a lot of reps last week. I worked with the ones pretty much all week cause Christian was trying to rest his side. I feel like I was learning a lot and learning the tempo. I feel like I will be ready for it."
"I feel like our practices are harder than the games to be honest," continued Manuel. "We have so much pressure from the coaches. We the game comes and you have the loud crowds it doesn't matter. I feel that this is the same as high school but they players are bigger, faster and stronger. I feel like I have been trained and we'll find out next week."
Thomas Over 100, again:
With a 13-yard carry on the first play of the fourth quarter, FSU sophomore tailback Jermaine Thomas eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark for the second consecutive game. Thomas finished with 119 yards on 26 carries. It marks the first time an FSU back strung together consecutive 100-yard rushing games since Antone Smith during the 2007 season, when he ran for 114 against Miami (Oct. 20) and followed with 146 against Duke (Oct. 27). Thomas was coming off a 186-yard rushing effort against N.C. State last week.
New Season High For Thomas:
Thomas established a new season-high for rushing yardage with his second consecutive 100-yard performance. It pushed his season total to 497 yards on 95 carries. As a freshman, Thomas ran for 482 yards on 69 carries and a term-leading 7.0 yards per carry. He came into the Clemson game with 860 career rushing yards.
Owens Matches Game-High For Grabs:
FSU senior wide receiver Rod Owens matched his career, game-high for receptions with nine (for 77-yards) against the Tigers. Three weeks ago the Jacksonville native collected nine receptions for a career-high 199 yards against North Carolina. Over the past three games, Owens has 25 receptions for 322-yards. He came into his final season of eligibility with 30 career receptions for 351 yards.
NoleDigest News and Notes: FSU vs. Clemson
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