FSU had their chances, but loses sixth in a row to Clemson

Will Shipley had 128 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground in Clemson's 30-20 win over FSU.
Will Shipley had 128 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground in Clemson's 30-20 win over FSU.(247Noles)
Published: Oct. 30, 2021 at 7:22 PM EDT
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CLEMSON, S.C. (247Noles) - Florida State has now lost six in a row to Clemson, losing 30-20 to the Tigers in a game where they had plenty of chances at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C. It marks their longest losing streak ever to an ACC opponent. The Seminoles also saw a three-game winning streak snapped, falling to 3-5 on the season, including 2-3 against ACC opponents. The Tigers improve to 5-3, including 4-2 in ACC play.

FSU had themselves in position to pull off the upset after a strip-sack of Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei and fumble recovery for a touchdown by defensive end Jermaine Johnson with 7:39 remaining in the fourth quarter was the lone score of the second half for the Seminoles. FSU led 20-17 at that point.

The Tigers got a 21-yard touchdown run by running back Will Shipley with 2:53 remaining to re-take the lead, 24-20, after Thomas’ defensive score.

FSU’s drive after Shipley scored fizzled out as they punted it after quarterback Jordan Travis took a 19-yard sack that made it 4th and 32 from the FSU 17-yard line. The Seminoles, who had two timeouts remaining, got a three-and-out against Clemson’s offense forcing a punt with 34 seconds remaining.

FSU got the ball back with 23 seconds remaining, down by four, but facing a long field starting at their own 9-yard line. Travis completed a pass 24 yards to Keyshawn Helton. FSU then attempted Hail Mary to get into the redzone, but it was broken up by Clemson safety Andrew Mukuba. With just four seconds left and 67 yards between them and the end zone, FSU attempted to lateral their way down the field. Travis completed a pass to running back Treshaun Ward, who lateraled the ball to Andrew Parchment, who then sent it back towards Travis, but it was fumbled and recovered by Clemson linebacker Barrett Carter at the 3-yard line and he returned it for a touchdown as the clock expired. Running back Lawrance Toafili was injured on the play.

FSU trailed Clemson 17-13 at the half.

The Seminoles scored two touchdowns in the opening half. A 1-yard touchdown pass from Travis to running back Jashaun Corbin was the first score of the game for FSU. Kicker Ryan Fitzgerald missed his first extra-point attempt of the day. The second score came when Travis connected with Toafili for a 75-yard touchdown pass, where Toafili never touched the ground, despite being wrenched down by his defender, who he landed on, re-gained his feet, and then danced down the visitor’s sideline to score.

Clemson posted 17 points in the opening half as they opened the scoring during the first quarter with a 47-yard field goal by kicker B.T. Potter. Potter would miss three field goal attempts after making his first on the day. The Tigers would take a 10-6 lead when Uiagalelei connected with tight end Davis Allen for an 11-yard touchdown pass. That touchdown drive was set up by a 63-yard run by running back Phil Mafah. After Toafili’s touchdown, the Tigers responded late in the first half with a 10-play, 83-yard touchdown drive capped off by a 2-yard touchdown run by Shipley - his first of two scores on the day.

The third quarter, which featured no scoring, saw FSU have a turnover on downs on a 4th and 1 from their own 49-yard line where Corbin was stopped for no gain. Later in the quarter, FSU freshman cornerback Omarion Cooper recorded his first career interception.

In the fourth quarter, there were a pair of back-to-back turnovers. FSU took it away from Clemson to open the quarter when Uiagalelei completed a pass to wide receiver E.J. Williams, but FSU safety Jammie Robinson stripped the ball from Williams and linebacker Amari Gainer recovered it. On FSU’s first offensive snap after forcing the turnover, Ward fumbled on a short run. Mukuba recovered it.

On the evening, Travis was 14-of-22 (64%) for 176 passing yards and two passing touchdowns. Toafili’s 75-yard reception, his lone catch of the game, gave him the team-high receiving yards on the night. Tight end Jordan Wilson led FSU with three receptions for 36 yards. FSU’s running game was locked up by Clemson’s defense, with the Seminoles rushing for a season-low 68 yards on 34 carries, led by 31 yards on nine carries by Corbin. Travis, who entered the game averaging 57 rushing yards per game, finished with negative four yards rushing on the evening. FSU managed just 244 yards as an offense, averaging 4.4 yards per play.

Uiagalelei was 19-of-31 (61%) for 189 passing yards, a touchdown, and an interception for the Tigers. His favorite receiver was Justyn Ross, who had six receptions for 85 yards - both team-high marks. Shipley rushed 25 times for 128 yards and two touchdowns. The Tigers out-gained the Seminoles by 133 yards, racking up 377 total yards, with an average of 5.1 yards per play.

FSU committed nine penalties for 85 yards - a departure from their recent run of eliminating mistakes during the winning streak. The Tigers had six penalties enforced for 25 yards.

FSU will host NC State next weekend. Kickoff time and television for that game have not yet been announced.

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