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Florida State-Clemson Preview Capsule

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The Associated Press | October 17, 2013 12:32 PM EST | AP

No. 5 Florida State (5-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) at No. 3 Clemson (6-0, 4-0), 8:22 p.m. (ABC)

Line: Florida State by 3.

Series Record: Florida State leads, 18-8.


The Seminoles and Tigers are playing for control of the ACC Atlantic Division, but victory in this one puts the winner in prime position for a possible national title shot.


Florida State QB Jameis Winston vs. sold out Death Valley. The Seminoles redshirt freshman has played well beyond his years, hitting on 73 percent of his passes for 1,441 yards and 17 TDs, to keep his team undefeated, but has not yet had to call signals in a place as loud and imposing as Clemson's Memorial Stadium, which is expected to hold way more than its listed capacity of 81,500. If Winston can get some points early, it would go a long way to his settling into the environment and keeping the crowd out of the action.


Florida State: DB Lamarcus Joyner will most likely have prime responsibility on talented and fast Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins. Joyner leads the Seminoles with two sacks and his second best with 25 tackles. He and the secondary struggled to contain Watkins here two years ago, the freshman going off for 141 yards receiving and two TDs in a 35-30 Tigers victory. Joyner had a 90-yard kickoff return in the second half of last year's Florida State victory.

Clemson: DE Vic Beasley leads the ACC and is second nationally with nine sacks to lead a Tigers defense that tops the country with 24 quarterback takedowns. Clemson also leads the FBS with 61 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Bealsey's 12 leads the way in that category, too.


Road teams haven't won much in the series the past 12 years, the lone visitor victory coming with Clemson's 27-20 win in Tallahassee in 2006. The Seminoles haven't won in Death Valley since 2001 when Bobby Bowden coached Florida State and his son, Tommy, led the Tigers. ... Florida State has a nine-game win streak against ACC opponents, its longest since winning 24 in a row from 1998-2001. ... This week marks the five-year anniversary of Clemson's Dabo Swinney becoming the team's interim coach, following Tommy Bowden. ... Florida State's Nick O'Leary, the grandson of golf great Jack Nicklaus, is tied for most touchdowns by a tight end in the country with five. ... Clemson's only other top five matchup: Jan. 1, 1982, when the top-ranked Tigers defeated fourth-ranked Nebraska 22-15 in the Orange Bowl to complete their 12-0, national championship season.