Is this the biggest rivalry in the ACC? Florida State fans seem to think so, and it's given us some exciting matchups in recent history. Last year ... not so much, as the Seminoles trounced the third-ranked Tigers 51-14 in Death Valley. The big story this yeah, though, is of course FSU starting quarterback Jameis Winston's suspension.
Will this year be different, perhaps in part because of Winston? Clemson struggled in its opener, giving up 24 unanswered points in the second half in a 45-21 loss to Georgia. The Tigers rebounded the next week, beating FCS South Carolina State 73-7. That rout answered some questions on offense, but facing the Seminoles is an entirely different matter.
This is one of the toughest challenges on Florida State's schedule, but that's not saying much. The Tigers are one of just two currently ranked opponents the Seminoles face this season (Notre Dame is the other), and while there are a number of talented-to-promising teams remaining (Virginia, Louisville and Florida come to mind), it's hard to imagine too many of them challenging Florida State's unworldly collection of talent.
How to witness
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ABC
In the booth: Chris Fowler will be on play-by-play, with Kirk Herbstreit and Heather Cox.
Online streaming: N/A
Rankings and records: Florida State is ranked No. 1 in both the AP and Coaches Polls. Clemson is ranked No. 22 in the AP and No. 24 in the Coaches. The Seminoles are 2-0 this season, while the Tigers are 1-1. Florida State has a 19-8 lead in the all-time series, and has won the lost two games between the two schools.
Weather forecast: 67 degrees and partly cloudy.
Two things at stake
With a weak schedule compared to its SEC counterparts, the Seminoles can't afford any missteps in conference play if they hope to repeat their 2013 title.
Clemson has fallen off the national radar a bit after the embarrassing second half against Georgia. A win against Florida State would put the Tigers in the driver's seat for the ACC title and help revive the program's national image after that defeat.
One big matchup
Florida State offensive line vs. Clemson defensive line. The Seminoles have quite possibly the best offensive line in the nation, with five seniors starting -- all of whom are NFL prospects. A talented quarterback -- even if it's Sean Maguire and not Winston -- with time in the pocket is a dangerous thing for opposing defenses, and Clemson will need to get some semblance of pressure in the backfield if it hopes to stand any chance.
Prior to the season, the positive talk around Clemson largely concerned its defensive line. The Tigers start four seniors up front (with another two and one junior in the linebacking corps), and it seemed this Tiger team would be defensively focused, as opposed to the offensive minded squads of the Tajh Boyd era. Then, the Georgia game happened. The Bulldogs ran for 328 yards and five touchdowns against Clemson, averaging 8.0 yards per carry and slashing the Tigers' hopes of significantly competing on a national level.