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Free Pick Breakdown & Prediction: Clemson v. Florida State (10/15/22)

By Ace Margolis
October 13, 2022
Photo by: Jacob Kupferman - Getty Images

Clemson vs Florida St. Overview (10/15/22 @ 7:30 PM EST.)

Line: Clemson (-3.5)
Total: 51

Clemson vs Florida State Breakdown and Betting Odds

With the ACC getting into the thick of their conference games to determine the standings, one of the biggest games of the week is none other than the fourth-ranked Clemson Tigers crossing state lines to take on conference foe Florida St. in Tallahassee. The Tigers just beat Boston College last Saturday 31-3 while the Seminoles lost a thriller to NC State 19-17.

Clemson Analysis

Boston College is one of the worst teams in the ACC but last Saturday’s game against Clemson was the first time all season that they didn’t score at least one touchdown. The Tigers are exactly where they were ranked in the preseason, fourth, with head coach Dabo Swinney’s team looking to win their seventh conference championship in eight years.

Heading into Week 7, Clemson is undefeated at 6-0, including 4-0 in the ACC, and has beaten a ranked opponent in two of their last three games. They’ve split their six games both against the spread and the over/under.

Clemson’s 6-0 start can be attributed to a lot of factors but one of the greatest assets is the ability to stuff the run. They’re so good, in fact, that they’re second in the nation and holding opponents to only 2.2 yards a carry. That’s not all.

They only allow 63.7 yards on the ground all game and have only given up two rushing TDs the entire season, second in the nation behind Illinois and Georgia, who have only given up one each. The Tigers give up more yards in the air than they’d like to admit but they don’t give up a whole lot of points, holding teams to 18.3 points a game, good for 27th overall.

The Tigers have a lot of great players on this team but it all starts with their most prominent name and player: QB D.J. Uiagalelei. Coming into this year with tons of pressure due to an underwhelming 2021 season, Uiagalelei has done a great job managing the offense and, even if he doesn’t have eye-popping numbers, he’s hurt teams with his throws and runs.

Through six games, Uiagalelei has put up 1,468 yards through the air and has been incredibly efficient, tossing 14 TDs to only two picks. He’s also contributed 311 yards on 67 carries for three scores.

Florida St. Analysis

It was a heartbreaking loss for the Seminoles last Saturday as starting quarterback Jordan Travis threw an interception with 38 seconds left to seal their fate and drop them to 4-2 on the year. Florida St. needs a win to stay afloat in the ACC Atlantic race because both Syracuse and Clemson are undefeated in conference play whereas the Seminoles have lost two straight to the division. That being said, Florida St. has been solid against the spread, going 4-2 although they’re only 2-4 against the over/under.

A team with four wins must be doing something right, especially a team that’s beaten LSU this season. One thing Florida St. does well is run the ball, averaging 204.2 yards on the ground per contest and chewing up 5.57 yards per rush.

On the opposite side of the ball is where the Seminoles shine, holding opponents to a mere 170.6 yards a game through the air, good for 14th in the country. Only allowing 4.76 yards per play to opposing offenses, the Seminoles rank 27th nationally in overall defense.

While Florida State’s defense is its biggest strength, the offense has had its bright spots, starting with Travis, who is doing is solid job navigating the Seminoles to a winning record in the ACC. Travis has thrown for 1,407 yards to go with nine TDs and three INTs but will need to step it up against a very good Clemson defense.

In the backfield, the Seminoles have three backs they throw at opposing offenses with Treshaun Ward, Trey Benson, and Lawrence Toafili combining for 10 of the team’s 13 rushing touchdowns.

Free Pick Clemson -3.5

Both these teams boast good defenses with one better against the run in Clemson and another against the pass in Florida St. On that note, it’s important to know that the Tigers are riding a six-game winning streak against the Seminoles including a 59-10 thrashing the last time they met at Doak Campbell Stadium.

One thing about Clemson this season is they’ve seemingly gotten better as the year wears on, something you can’t say about Florida St., who hasn’t beaten a ranked opponent since Week 2. With the Tigers looking like a contender behind Uiagalelei’s leadership, we like Clemson -3.5

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