Saturday, November 21, 2020, Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Florida, noon. ET
Tigers at Seminoles Betting Preview: Tigers (+-34), Seminoles (+34)
Clemson Tigers Betting Preview
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is preparing his No. 4 Tigers (7-1, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) for the Florida State team that handled North Carolina its only loss of the season, not the bunch that has lost to Louisville, Pittsburgh, and North Carolina State the last three games.
“I know their record is not what they want it to be, but they are improving greatly,” Swinney said. “They are figuring out their personnel. They’ve got a lot of young guys playing and they are competing. Those guys continue to lay it on the line.”
Coming off a bye week following its 47-40 double-overtime loss at Notre Dame on Nov. 7, the Tigers haven’t lost back-to-back games since November 2011.
The loss at Notre Dame ended the Tigers’ 28-game winning streak against ACC opponents, but Swinney said the Tigers are ready for a reset, particularly with standout quarterback Trevor Lawrence back in the fold.
Lawrence missed the Tigers’ last two games after testing positive for COVID-19 but is set to return Saturday.
“He’s chomping at the bit to play,” Swinney said. “He’s Trevor. He’s well-prepared and focused and really locked in. You know what you’re going to get from (No.) 16, there’s no doubt about that.”
Freshman D.J. Uiagalelei played well in Lawrence’s stead, passing for 781 yards and four touchdowns in his two starts, but Lawrence adds another level. It starts with his maturity and confidence.
“He is a special talent,” Norvell said. “He’s a fun player to watch — not only the physical tools, but really the charisma that he brings and the leader that he is.”
Though Lawrence returns, the Tigers still won’t have top linebacker James Skalski for a fourth straight game. He remains out with a groin injury. Swinney is hopeful that multiple players who missed the Notre Dame game may return, including starting defensive tackle Tyler Davis and starting linebacker Mike Jones Jr.
“We had a much-needed break and we took good advantage of it, studying ourselves and getting some guys healthy,” Swinney said, “It has been a weekly challenge, just having consistency and continuity from week to week. The guys are eager to get back going. We’ve got 18 days left in our season. Anything you get after that you’ve got to earn.”
Florida State Seminoles Betting Preview
The Seminoles (2-6, 1-6 ACC) are very much aware of how this series has gone in recent years. Clemson has won five in a row and 10 of the last 15 against the Seminoles, and the last time the Tigers visited Tallahassee, in 2018, they dealt the Seminoles their worst home loss in school history 59-10.
“Our guys, they know the challenge that’s ahead,” first-year Florida State coach Mike Norvell said of his players. “They know the football team that’s coming in here is an exceptional team in all aspects. They’ve got dynamic players all over the field.”
The Seminoles, who have been depleted by the early departures of wide receiver Tamorrion Terry and defensive tackle Marvin Wilson, will counter with sophomore quarterback Jordan Travis, who is a dual-threat player who has had some bright moments.
“He’s a problem,” Swinney said. “We’ve not done a great job of containing the quarterback and getting him on the ground when have opportunities, and this guy is as good as we’re going to see.”
In his four starts, Travis has guided the Seminoles to over 405 yards of total offense three times. He has rushed for at least one touchdown in five consecutive games, the longest such streak in program history. His 88-yard touchdown run against Pitt put him one-up on Charlie Ward and Christian Ponder in the FSU record book.
Defensively, Asante Samuel is fourth in the nation in takeaways with three interceptions and two fumble recoveries. He has been credited with nine passes defended, which ranks seventh nationally.
Tigers at Seminoles Betting Pick
The Tigers have won 11 of the last 17 meetings, including the last five in a row and the last two meetings in Tallahassee. Lawrence was 17 of 25 for 170 yards in Clemson’s 45-14 win last year and was 20 of 37 for 314 yards and four touchdowns in the Tigers’ 59-10 win in 2018, their last meeting in Tallahassee.
Tigers at Seminoles Betting Pick:
Tigers 49, Seminoles 20
Tigers at Seminoles Best Bet
The Tigers have had a week to get over their double-overtime loss at Notre Dame while the Seminoles dropped their third in a row 38-22 last week at North Carolina State. The Seminoles have scored at a 22.0 clip while giving up 36.1 points a game while the Tigers hold a 45.4 to 19.5 scoring advantage over their opponents.
Tigers at Seminoles Best Bet: OVER 66.5
–Field Level Media