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The Tiger

Clemson holds on late to defeat Florida State

Matt Mynes, Asst. Photo Editor

Clemson running back Will Shipley (1) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against Georgia Tech in Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sept. 5, 2022. 

The undefeated Clemson Tigers added another tally to their win column on Saturday with a 34-28 victory over the Florida State Seminoles in Tallahassee, Fla.  
Like previous games this season, the Tigers got off to a slow start, allowing Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis to run into the end zone at the 11:41 mark in the first quarter.
Clemson didn’t take long to respond, however, as quarterback DJ Uiagalelei connected with wide receiver Antonio Williams for a 59-yard score just under five minutes later.
Although Florida State took a 14-7 lead five seconds into the second quarter, Clemson would go on to score 27 points, 24 of which came from Uiagalelei.
Upon the return of the ball to Clemson, the Tigers struggled to convert as third-year quarterback DJ Uiagalelei threw the ball away twice, resulting in senior kicker B.T. Potter earning the Tigers their first lead of the game with a 47-yard field goal. 
Although the first half initially saw a tug-of-war of points, Clemson defensive end Myles Murphy recovered a fumble with 47 seconds left in the first half that resulted in Uiagalelei walking into the end zone — a score that gave the Tigers a 10-point lead to close the half. 
The defensive end room can take responsibility for curbing Florida State’s initially explosive run game, as Murphy had six total tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery, while K.J. Henry had three total tackles and two pass deflections.
The defensive line’s success was shared in the back seven as well, with sophomore linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. finishing with a game-high 13 total tackles. Clemson safety Jalyn Philips was right behind Trotter with 11 of his own. 
After pitching a third-quarter shutout, Clemson’s defense had its fair share of issues in the fourth quarter, as Florida State added fourteen points to the board and brought the game within six points with 2:17 remaining in the game.
The Tigers managed to hold on, but Murphy acknowledged Florida State’s late onslaught wasn’t how Clemson wanted to close the game.
“That’s kind of what happened with our defense. We got comfortable, we got that lead … and kind of just were hoping that they gave up too … but you know, they didn’t give up, and that’s good on them,” Murphy said.
Throughout the game, Clemson’s offense held its own, in large part because of sophomore running back Will Shipley, who had 169 total yards and a 65-yard kickoff return to open the third quarter that set up a 31-yard touchdown from Uiagalelei to tight end Davis Allen.
In the victory, Uiagalelei completed 65% of his passes for 203 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions.
The Tigers will return to Death Valley on Oct. 22 to play the undefeated Syracuse Orange.

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