EditorsNote: Update 2: Removes season low in 5th graf
No. 2 Clemson overcame a sluggish start to put a 59-10 whipping on Florida State on Saturday in Tallahassee, Fla., the Tigers’ fourth straight victory against the Seminoles.
Trevor Lawrence continued to sizzle since taking over as Clemson’s starting quarterback early in the season, passing for 314 yards and four touchdowns as the Tigers handed Florida State its worst home loss in program history.
Lawrence threw a 58-yard TD to receiver Amari Rodgers on the second play of the third quarter to give the Tigers (8-0, 5-0 ACC) a 35-0 lead. He again connected with Rodgers later in the quarter on a 68-yard scoring play before exiting.
Rodgers finished with six catches for 156 yards and two scores.
Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois had quite the opposite afternoon, throwing for 180 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. He was taken to the locker room in the fourth quarter after taking a pounding from the Tigers, who sacked Francois five times and tallied 14 tackles for loss overall.
Florida State (4-4, 2-4) scored its lone touchdown on a 73-yard pass from backup James Blackman to Keyshawn Helton in the fourth quarter when the game was already well out of hand.
Helton finished with three catches for 100 yards. The Seminoles rushed for minus-21 yards as a team and Clemson outgained Florida State 524-247.
The Tigers went to halftime well in control of the game, up 28-0.
After a scoreless opening quarter, Clemson struck first with 13:19 left in the second quarter — then struck again and again and again.
After a Florida State roughing-the-kicker penalty kept a Clemson drive alive, Lawrence hit Tee Higgins from 7 yards out to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead.
Clemson made it 14-0 on its next drive when Lawrence and Higgins hooked up again from 3 yards out.
Francois was intercepted on Florida State’s ensuing drive by Clemson linebacker Tre Lamar, leading to a third straight Tigers touchdown as defensive tackle Christian Wilkins moved to offense for one play and barreled across the goal line for a 1-yard score to make it 21-0.
Clemson made it 28-0 with just over a minute left before halftime on Garrett Williams’ 2-yard touchdown run.
Florida State’s remaining schedule is one of the toughest in the country, including three more Top 25 opponents. The Seminoles have trips to No. 22 North Carolina State and No. 3 Notre Dame and then play at home against No. 9 Florida to close out the regular season.
Clemson will look to remain unbeaten next week when it hosts Louisville.
—Field Level Media