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Clemson vs. Florida State 2016: Start time, live stream, TV schedule, and 3 things to know

Clemson looks for an FSU sequel, but on the road.

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday night's Clemson-Florida State game in Tallahassee doesn't have the stakes widely imagined for it when the season started, but it's still an awfully big game, just like it always is nowadays.

No. 3 Clemson is 7-0 and, by virtue of its head-to-head win against one-loss Louisville, has a firm grip on the ACC Atlantic. The Tigers could lose any one of their last five games and, as long as that's it, still play in and win the ACC Championship Game, punching a Playoff ticket. No. 12 Florida State has two losses in the league and more than likely can't win it, but a marquee win against Clemson would leave the Noles in competitive shape for a New Year's Six bowl bid.

These teams played a thriller last year, when Clemson finally outran FSU after about three years of trying. They'll aim for some sort of a sequel on Saturday, but they'll have to do it on the road.

How to watch, stream, and listen

TV: 8:22 p.m. ET, ABC. The broadcasters are Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, and Samantha Ponder.

Radio: Clemson and Florida State

Online streaming: WatchESPN

Spread: Clemson opened as a field goal favorite, and that line's grown slightly.

Make friends: Get to SB Nation's team blog chats for this game at Shakin The Southland (for Clemson fans) and Tomahawk Nation (for FSU fans).

Three big things to know

1. At its core, this is about FSU's offense against Clemson's defense. The Noles are elite when they have the ball, and the Tigers are elite when they don't. Florida State's offense doesn't create so many big plays, but it's a highly efficient group that does a good job moving the ball upfield and staying on schedule. Clemson hasn't been stellar against the run, but the Tigers' secondary is close to impossible to throw against. The logical step, then, is that FSU will feed the Tigers a healthy dose of running back Dalvin Cook.

2. Deshaun Watson could have a signature evening. Despite having tons of talent, FSU's secondary has had real problems. The Noles gave up double-digit yards per throw earlier in the year against Louisville, South Florida, and North Carolina, and Watson's the best throwing quarterback they'll have seen. He won't lay out rushing devastation quite like Lamar Jackson did in Louisville, but he can make the Noles hurt all the same.

3. Along the same lines, Deondre Francois could be great, but he's got a challenge. Clemson's pass defense is what it is. The Tigers force a lot of incompletions, and they don't give up big plays through the air. Francois isn't a big-play guy himself, but he is highly efficient, and if he can string together enough savvy plays, he can score. You do wonder, though, how things will go for him if Clemson's able to limit Cook and the FSU running game.


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