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Paws up, paws down: Clemson vs. Florida State

Katie Bradham, Photo Editor

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney talks with an official during the Tigers’ game against Georgia Tech in Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sept. 5, 2022.

Following a hard-fought victory over the Florida State Seminoles, Clemson moves into Week 8 with an unblemished 7-0 record. The Tigers are one of two undefeated teams left in the ACC, the other being this week’s opponent, the Syracuse Orange.  
Here are a few key takeaways from the Tigers’ performance against the Seminoles. 
Paws up: Will Shipley 
Shipley is no stranger to the spotlight. Currently, he leads the Tigers in both rushing yards, with 567 on 5.9 yards per carry. The sophomore also has eight touchdowns on the year.
Against the Seminoles, Shipley was particularly electric. Although he did not add any points to the scoreboard, he was involved in several crucial plays. 
The 5-foot-11, 205-pound tailback was responsible for 169 total yards against the Seminoles, but arguably his most impactful play came on special teams.
To open the Tigers offensive drive in the second half, Shipley returned the kickoff 69 yards, setting up the Tigers on Florida State’s 30-yard line. Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei connected with tight end Davis Allen on the ensuing play to extend the team’s lead to 17 points.
Paws down: Clemson’s defensive roller coaster 
Clemson fans were likely on the edge of their seats watching the Tigers’ up-and-down defensive performance against Florida State as they fought to contain the Seminoles’ high-flying offense. 
Just over three minutes into the game, Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis found a gap in the Tigers’ defensive line and ran in for a 20-yard touchdown.
While Clemson responded with a 59-yard score on the ensuing drive, Florida State immediately stormed back with another rushing touchdown five seconds into the second quarter. 
Adjusting to Florida State’s initial two scores, the Tigers’ defense managed to contain the Seminoles for the remainder of the second and entirety of the third quarter. But a 14-point fourth-quarter surge gave the Seminoles a chance to come back late.
For Clemson defensive end Myles Murphy and the rest of the defense, allowing a team to stay within one score isn’t how the unit wanted to perform.
“(Coach) Swinney tells us all the time, he’ll give us a statistic where most crashes happen within a mile of the destination because people get comfortable, and that’s kind of what happened with us,” Murphy said.
Paws up: Red zone opportunities 
The Clemson Tigers love to capitalize on opportunity, and the best opportunity in the game of football is the ability to score. 
Against the Seminoles, Clemson scored on each of its trips to the red zone, coming away with 17 points.
The ability to convert on scoring opportunities is not new for the Tigers. Against every opponent this season, Clemson has maintained a perfect red zone record. Of all 35 times this season the Tigers have crossed the opponent’s 20-yard line, they have scored. 
Clemson joins only Ohio State and Tennessee as teams in the FBS with a perfect red zone score.  
Paws down: Bryan Bresee’s slow return
Bresee traveled to Tallahassee but didn’t receive much playing time against the Seminoles. 
Recovering from a kidney infection, the redshirt sophomore had been out the past two games after having already missed a game for the loss of his younger sister, Ella, to brain cancer.
Bresee played a more-rotational role against Florida State, with junior defensive tackle Ruke Orhorhoro filling in for him in the starting lineup. 
When on the field, Bresee is unanimously regarded as one of the top draft prospects of his class. In the four games he has played this season, Bresee has recorded eight total tackles and 0.5 sacks.
It’s been an arduous start to the 2022 season for Bresee, but he will have a chance to showcase his talents against Syracuse on Saturday.

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