Clemson Tigers Vs. Florida State Seminoles: Bold Predictions For Week 9 Of 2016 College Football Season
Week 8 of the 2016 college football season is in the books. As usual, the College Football Playoff picture took a hit. After all, the Ohio State Buckeyes, who were previously ranked No. 2 in the country, went down to the unranked Penn State Nittany Lions. As for Week 9, playoff implications will be the name of the game when the Clemson Tigers travel on the road to take on the Florida State Seminoles.
The Tigers are ranked No. 3 in the nation and still have a perfect record (7-0). If they win out, they will walk into the College Football Playoff. With that in mind, the contest against the Seminoles is no cakewalk. Florida State might enter this battle with two losses but the said losses came against the Louisville Cardinals and North Carolina Tar Heels. Louisville could still sneak into the playoff, and North Carolina could make the ACC title game.
Clemson hasn’t had the toughest schedule of all time, but it did gain a major resume booster when it knocked off Lamar Jackson and Louisville. As for Florida State, the team’s bests wins came against the Ole Miss Rebels, who were ranked No. 11 at the time, and Miami Hurricanes, who were ranked No. 10 at the time.
Florida State has played three teams ranked in the top 11 while Clemson has only played one ranked opponent in 2016 — just for the record. Nonetheless, all eyes will be on this showdown entering Week 9. Before the madness goes down, let’s break out three bold predictions for Clemson vs. Florida State.
Dalvin Cook Is The Best Player On The Field
This has bold written all over it for the simple fact that Deshaun Watson is still very much alive when it comes to the Heisman race. In fact, ESPN has him down as the No. 2-ranked player in its Heisman rankings.
As for Dalvin Cook, well, he isn’t ranked when it comes to ESPN’s Heisman rankings. Of course, Cook is no stranger to major performances. Look no further than his 267 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, and 62 receiving yards against the South Florida Bulls to figure that one out.
Cook has racked up 900 rushing yards, 356 receiving yards, and eight total touchdowns on the season, and he is a serious threat no matter who the Seminoles play. If Florida State has any chance of winning this game, then Cook has to have a monster performance.
Deshaun Watson Records Three Touchdowns, Two Interceptions
Watson could still come away with the Heisman Trophy thanks to his killer stats (1,950 passing yards, 20 passing touchdowns), but he hasn’t exactly been perfect this year. The Tiger does have eight interceptions. Not to mention, he had three interceptions against the only ranked team Clemson faced this year, which was against Louisville, of course.
Watson is a top player in this sport — there is no doubt about it — but Florida State is tied for second in the ACC with nine interceptions. Clemson comes in at No. 1 in that department with 11.
Watson is likely going to get his touchdowns, but fans shouldn’t be surprised when he racks up some interceptions as well.
Florida State Shocks The College Football World, Knocks Off Clemson
Why is Florida State capable of pulling off the upset? Well, despite the fact that the Seminoles are ranked as high as No. 12 in the polls, and realistically have enough talent to compete for a title, they will also get this game at home. Plus, they have been tested over and over again in the 2016 season.
No offense to Clemson’s schedule, but it has nothing on Florida State’s. Reminder: The Seminoles have played three ranked teams on the year while Clemson has only played one.
While the Seminoles likely won’t be crashing the College Football Playoff party this season — because they already have two losses — they are more than capable of beating any team in the country. With that said, Clemson did beat Louisville, a team that beat FSU by the score of 63-20.
As long as Cook gets some help on the offensive side of the ball, and Florida State contains Watson, the Seminoles can win this showdown. No matter what the outcome is, this should be quite the ACC treat for college football fans.
[Featured Image by Jim Rogash/Getty Images]