Miami's defense is going to make life hard in the ACC Championship Game, and SC has gotten hot and finds itself in the clubhouse at 5-3 in SEC play, good enough for second place in the SEC East. Clemson is going to find itself in more games like this with the need to seal a win on the ground, and if Bryant and Etienne are able to answer the call like they did against Florida State, the Tigers will be back in the College Football Playoff. In his return from injury, Jacques Patrick got FSU on the board with a 3-yard touchdown late in the third quarter. Clemson went 28 yards on one play as tailback Travis Etienne broke free for a touchdown run on first down midway through the second quarter.
With less than nine minutes to play in the fourth quarter, FSU reached into its bag of tricks and struck gold on a 60-yard touchdown strike from quarterback James Blackman to tight end Ryan Izzo to cut the lead to 17-14.
The game looked like it would be a blowout early. After the turnover, the Tigers capped off a six-play, 20-yard drive with a 2-yard plunge by quarterback Kelly Bryant. That score cut Clemson's lead to 17-7 after the Tigers dominated the entire first half. Bryant finished the game with 60 yards on 19 carries, and Etienne ended with 97 yards on 14 carries.
Clemson scored the only points of the first quarter with just under three minutes left in it when Bryant pushed two yards for his 10 rushing touchdown of the season.
Blackman passed for 208 yards, but on just 13-for-32 passing. It capped off a 90-yard drive that was set up by a pair of pass interference calls and a 39-yard catch by junior receiver Nyqwan Murray. The Seminoles will host Delaware State while Clemson takes on The Citadel.