The world watched as Jameis Winston and the Florida State Seminoles crushed Clemson into a miserable solid orange pulp. The Seminole defense would not stand for any magnificent Tajh Boyd to Sammy Watkins or Martavius Bryant connections. There would certainly be no running game either. The Tigers were relegated to punt after punt after punt which turned into a lesson in why you never want Winston, or the Florida State offense in general, to have possession.
Winston zinged, lobbed and floated passes to Kelvin Benjamin, Rashad Greene, and Nick O’Leary that forced one of the loudest atmospheres into hushed tones. There were plenty of shots provided by ESPN cameras of Tiger fans whose disbelief was on display for all of America. After all, this wasn’t supposed to happen to Clemson. This team was returning more play makers than Florida State had lost to the NFL. If anything, this game was supposed to be a shoot out; not a day of reckoning for The Wonderful Monster.
In the end, the score was 51-14 and the best summation of this beat down is the universal Clemson fan base coping mechanism: “I still love my Tigers, y’all”.
The ACC “game of the century” with the grand introduction of the Tigers and the subtle insert of Jaboo’s pre-game pep talk gave the nation goosebumps. I felt the electricity from my seat on the virtual bus ride over from the home locker room in Death Valley to Howard’s Rock. All those warm, fuzzy feelings of competitive football washed away after the 1st half. At this point, LSU-Ole Miss was waaaay more intriguing than a game where Lamarcus Joyner was single handily shutting down both Martavius Bryant and Sammy Watkins.
That’s not to say that Florida State’s demolishing act was like watching Alabama. Quite the opposite, actually.
Alabama, in their 52-0 victory over Arkansas, is moving through the SEC West as if the path to a national championship is paved in gold. The Tide is like Prairie Home Companion: successful, inoffensive (on-the-field, of course), and mired in the mundane. That’s why it’s the least interesting team that stands atop the first BCS rankings of the season while the teams below are a gaggle of personalities and chutzpah.
Florida State may have been methodical in their approach but Winston certainly offers a panache that other quarterbacks certainly lack to keep things interesting.
Aside from learning that Clemson has become one of the most GIF-able environs in college football, what other nuggets of information did we learn?