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Clemson falls to No. 4 Florida State in overtime thriller

Ashleigh Snyder
Running back Will Shipley (1) put 14 points on the board against Florida State on Saturday with one rushing and one receiving touchdown. Pictured with freshman receiver Tyler Brown (6), who led the team with five receptions for 81 yards.

Clemson fell to No. 4 Florida State 31-24 in overtime at Memorial Stadium on Saturday as the team took on their first ranked opponent of the season.

Two crucial mistakes by the Tigers set the Seminoles up for the win. First, late in the third quarter Florida State linebacker Kalen DeLoach made a 56-yard fumble return to even the score up at 24-24. Still tied late in the fourth quarter, Clemson marched into scoring territory, but kicker Jonathan Weitz missed a 29-yard field goal that would’ve placed the Tigers up by three. Florida State then failed to score as time ran out, and the game headed into overtime.

The Seminoles received the ball to begin overtime, marching down the field on a drive that ended with quarterback Jordan Travis completing a 24-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Keon Coleman. On Clemson’s ensuing possession, the Seminoles’ defense prevented the Tigers from reaching a first down, as the game ended with Cade Klubnik throwing an incomplete pass on fourth-and-one.

Despite the outcome, the Tigers continued to build on their newfound offensive momentum. They scored on four of six red zone opportunities and had nine more first downs than the Seminoles.

Clemson’s offense was once again led by junior running back Will Shipley, who contributed one rushing and one receiving touchdown. Phil Mafah led the team with 69 rushing yards, including a 46-yard run.

In addition to the familiar faces on offense, junior wide receiver Troy Stellato broke out as a major contributor in the Tigers’ passing game, finishing with 41 yards on four receptions, three of which resulted in a first down. Freshman slot receiver Tyler Brown led the way with five receptions for 81 yards, solidifying himself as part of the Tigers’ receiving core in the absence of Antonio Williams.

The Tigers took the lead late in the first quarter with a field goal from Weitz, who converted one of two field goal attempts and went three for three on extra points. Although the Seminoles tied the score up twice, Clemson never lost control of the game during regulation, in large part due to its defense.

The Tigers defensive unit made several crucial stops to hold the Seminoles to 22 total yards on the ground, highlighted by linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr.’s first sack against Travis, followed by graduate defensive end Xavier Thomas adding another midway through the fourth quarter.

“You know, it felt really good to be able to make that play for my guys to help us get off the field right there,” Trotter said of his sack. “I felt like coach Goodwin made a really good play call, and it worked out to get me out there and make a play for the team.”

Throughout most of the game, Clemson’s secondary held its own. Safety R.J. Mickens led the way with seven tackles, and cornerback Nate Wiggins broke up a pass on the Seminoles’ final third and fourth downs in regulation to return possession to the Tigers in the final seconds of the fourth quarter.

The Tigers are on the road next weekend as they travel to Syracuse to take on the Orange at noon this Saturday.

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About the Contributors
Grace O'Donnell, Sports Editor
Ashleigh Snyder, Photo Editor
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