Digital Headbutt

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FSU vs. Clemson Live Blog: Bowden Bowl IX

Posted by Mike on September 3, 2007

Seriously, do we still need to call it the Bowden Bowl?

Anyway, both of these teams come into the season with high expectations. Florida State hasn’t been up to snuff since the ACC realignment, but they always have high expectations. With Chuck Amato returning to the coaching staff and a new offensive coordinator in Jimbo Fisher, those expectations may be realized again in 2007.

Clemson is almost as certain that they can take the Atlantic division this year. CJ Spiller and James Davis are one of the best running back tandems in America.

It’s the first ACC game of year, and the first big-time conference matchup of 2007. NOW the season really begins.

8:05 pm: Death Valley is absolutely rocking tonight.

8:11 pm: Drew Weather ford give the Seminoles a little momentum to start the game with a 20 yard run. The momentum is immediately killed when Antone Smith gets tackled 5 yards behind the line. Great play by Ricky Sapp for Clemson there.

8:12 pm: Florida State has to burn a timeout to avoid a delay of game, because no one could hear the call. That’s one of the many ways that the home crowd can come into play.

8:16 pm: After a short pass, Weatherford is sacked on third down, and the Noles have to punt.

8:17 pm: Thanks to that timeout, we’ve already had 3 minutes of ads after only 2 minutes of game have elapsed.

8:18pm: This is some nice trickery by Clemson. QB Cullen Harper lines up at WR, James Davis takes the direct snap, and he fakes the handoff to Spiller before running right up the middle for a first down.

8:21 pm: FSU drops 8 back on defense on third down, and Harper can’t find anyone before running out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage. Clemson is forced to punt, and the ‘Noles get a touchback.

8:24 pm: FSU starts the drive with another 5 yard loss on the ground. Rashad Jackson makes the stop. Florida State’s rushing struggles seem to be continuing early in 2007.

8:27 pm: Weatherford makes a nice throw despite the defensive pressure, but Chris Carr simply drops the catch. He needs to come up with that one, especially on third down. FSU has to punt again.

8:29 pm: It’s good to see Chuck Amato still in coaching. My mom isn’t so sure. She’s said to me many times about Amato: “I don’t trust a man with such a high-pitched voice.”

8:31 pm: Clemson goes 3-and out, again unable to take advantage of good field position. The punt puts FSU back at their own 13.

8:33 pm: Another 3-and-out for the ‘Noles. Clemson’s defense has been tenacious so far tonight.

8:35 pm: Jacoby ford takes the end around, and outruns almost all of the FSU defense, getting a huge run all the way to the 25.

8:37 pm, 6:05 left in the first quarter: TOUCHDOWN CLEMSON! Cullen Harper has to backpedal under pressure, but he manages to roll right and throw a pass to his tight end John Linthecum at the goalline. Clemson takes a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

8:42 pm (5:45 in 1st): Until that screen pass to Curtis Sims, Florida State only gained 4 yards on 9 plays after Weatherford’s opening run.

8:44 pm (5:05 in 1st): FUMBLE! Preston Parker fumbles on the end-around, and Clemson recovers. The Tigers will have excellent field position.

8:45 pm (4:53 in 1st): TOUCHDOWN! On the very next play from scrimmage, James Davis makes an unbelievable run. He juked at least three tackles, broke another, and ran away from the rest of the defense. Clemson leads 14-0 and have all the momentum now. Orson Swindle must be having a lot of fun rooting against the Seminoles in Death Valley tonight.

8:49 pm (4:30 in 1st): Another huge loss on the ground by Antoine Smith. It’s been a near perfect storm so far: a stifling defensive line and an inexperienced offensive line.

8:51 pm (3:00 in 1st): FSU finally gets a good play, a catch on third down by Carr, and the ‘Noles are called back because they only had five guys at the line of scrimmage. A huge mistake on the part of Florida State.

8:52 pm (2:15 in 1st): FSU has to punt again, and Clemson will get excellent field position again. This game could get ugly.

8:55 pm (1:15 in 1st): Clemson finally gets a 3-and out of their own, although that may have been pass interference on that third down play.

8:59 pm: The first quarter ends, as Clemson leads 14-0. They have dominated every facet of the game, so much so the the entire first 15 minutes were played on the FSU side of the field. The Seminoles will need to drastically change their game plan if they want to shift the momentum and get back in this game.

9:04 pm: Just when it looks like Florida State would have stopped Clemson’s offense again, they get not one but two costly penalties. It gives the Tigers a first down, and perhaps new life on this possession.

9:05 pm, 13:56 left in the 2nd quarter: Tight end Michael Palmer is hurt and has to come out of the game.

9:07 pm (13:25 in 2nd): TOUCHDOWN! Harper fires the WR screen pass to Aaron Kelly, he gets some huge blocks, and he breaks away for the 40+ yard score. Florida State simply can’t keep up right now. Clemson now leads 21-0, and this game already has the makings of a blowout.

9:11 pm (13:17 in 2nd): Florida State return sthe kick to the 31 yard line. They’ll finally get some decent field position.

9:12 pm: Parker makes a decent catch to get past the 40.

9:15 pm (11:20 in 2nd): A disastrous couple of plays to end the drive for the Semi-Noles. First Drew Weatherford gets sacked on a completely broken play. Then Gano’s rugby-style punt fails miserably, again putting Clemson in great field position. Florida State aren’t getting any breaks tonight.

9:19 pm: Harper throws another nice pass, a deep one to Kelly inside the 30. Harper’s done a pretty good job for his first start.

9:20 pm (10:05 in 2nd): Florida State finally gets a break in this game, recovering a C.J. Spiller fumble. The offense must take advantage.

9:22 pm (8:42 in 2nd): Guess what? Another 3-and out. Is this a great Clemson defense, a horrible Florida State offense, or both?

We have an early candidate for Extrapolater’s ACC Porn Name All Stars: FSU wide receiver De’Cody Fagg.

9:27 pm (7:56 in 2nd): Spiller gets a huge run on 3rd and long, and Davis follws with a nice run of his own. Suddenly Clemson is in great field position again.

9:32 pm (6:25 in 2nd): Roger Williams tackles Spiller in the open field, and Clemson will finally be force to punt.

9:33 pm (5:47 in 2nd): BLOCK! Roosevelt Lawson runs right through the middle of the line and blocks the punt. Florida State recovers at the Clemson 20 yard line. Florida State gets a huge break. They absolutely must score.

9:36 pm (4:12 in 2nd): Florida State gets anothe 3-and-out, but at least they’re able to kick the field goal. Clemson still leads, 21-3 as halftime approaches.

9:38 pm (3:59 in 2nd): C.J. Spiller fields the short kick, takes it to the other side of the field, and absolutely burns the coverage team before he’s forced out of bounds at the FSU 30.

9:41 pm (3:39 in 2nd): James Davis gets another nice run to put Clemson in the red zone. He has 8 rushes for 64 yards, 55 of which were after contact.

9:44 pm (1:51 in 2nd): I swear if I have to see Holly Rowe one more time in the first half, I’m going to punch my TV.

A Clemson lineman is down. That’s the second lineman to get injured for the Tigers, and could spell trouble for their offense in the second half.

The injury time may have ginven the Florida State defense time to rest and regroup.

9:48 pm (1:09 in 2nd): Buckholz’s field goal juuust gets between the uprights, and Clemson leads 24-3.

9:52 pm (:36 in 2nd): Another FSU drive, another 3-and-out.

9:54 pm, Halftime: And that’s how the first half ends. Clemson is up 24-3, and have dominated every facet of the game. The offensive line has allowed for big plays, and the defensive line has helped to allow only 40 yards in Florida State’s last 30 plays. The Seminoles must make some serious fundamental changes, especially to their offense, if they will have any hope of coming back in the second half.

10:16 pm: The third quarter has begun, and Clemson gets the ball. For the first time, their field position is not very good. If they still manage to score on this drive, you can call this game over.

A really, really weird mane from a Florida State player: Mister Alexander. Seriously, that’s his full name.

10:19 pm, 13:21 left in the 3rd quarter: Harper makes a nice pass to Linthecum past the 40, and Clemson is driving the ball well again.

Jacoby Ford is leaving the sidelines and headed to the locker room. the way they’re holding his left arm, it doesn’t look good.

10:21 pm (11:42 in 3rd): Neefy Moffett makes the big sack to force a erd and long situation for Clemson. Florida State’s defense has forced too few of these situations.

10:25 pm (11:29 in 3rd): What a play by Cullen Harper! He sees an open lane in the pocket, and he avoids several tackles before finally sliding for the first down. A great effort on his part, but a terrible job of tackling by the Seminoles.

10:26 pm (10:00 in 3rd): Current offensive stats: Clemson has 248 yards of total offense. Florida State has 62 yards, exactly 1/4th of that.

10:27 (9:14 in 3rd): FSU forces a punt at midfield, and will get the ball back at the 20. They need to do with something on this possession. a 3-and-out would effectively end any real chance they have in this game.

10:30 (8:30 in 3rd): Antoine Smith is finally getting some running room, and after two plays Florida State gets their first first down in exactly 36 minutes of play, and their second in the entire game.

10:32 (6:36 in 3rd): After Weatherford is sacked on 2nd down, he makes a great play to buy time in the pocket before hitting a slanting Smith in the middle. He manages to get the first down after the catch, and the Seminoles are finally building offensive momentum and good field position.

10:38 (4:46 in 3rd): Clemson manages to stop the drive and force 4th down. Rather than punt with such good field position, FSU decides to go for it on 4th and 4. The Tigers D-line breaks up the play early, and Weatherford’s deep pass is a bit too high. Clemson takes over on offense.

10:43 (2:11 in 3rd): Clemson is forced to punt. The snap is absolutely terrible goes about 40 yards behind the line of scrimmage. The punter fields the snap at his own 10 yard line, and runs through the back of his own endzone for a safety. While FSU gets two points and trails only 24-5, this was a smart play. If he tried to run it back, it almost certainly would have led to a touchdown. It’s still a 3-score game, and FSU offense doesn’t look like they could score three of anything right now.

10:49 (:46 in 3rd): TOUCHDOWN FLORIDA STATE! Antone Smith gets a huge run up the middle, running 50 yards to the 1 yard line. He finishes the drive off with a dive into the endzone for a touchdown. The Seminoles go for two, but they fail miserably. Still, that was a big touchdown for the Seminoles, who now trail 24-11. With still a full quarter to play, this game may not be over yet.

10:54 (:22 in 3rd): Wow. The Florida State defense has really come alive, putting huge pressur on Cullen Harper and company. The Clemson injuries on offensive line may really be coming back to haunt them.

10:57: The third quarter is over, and Clemson lead is down to 24-11 and are pinned deep into their own territory. More importantly, a new life has been brought into this Florida State team, as well as their fans, who are the loudest they’ve been all night. The momentum has shifted completely, in a matter of only 2 and a half minutes since the bad punt snap.

11:01 (14:07 in 4th): Clemson gets a nice pass, but it only gives them room for the punt. Preston Parker returns the punt to the Clemson 31. Florida State is not far now from a one score game.

11:02 (13:26 in 4th): Those are the kinds of plays that can cost you a game. De’Cody Fagg is wide open, the ball is thrown right at him, he gets his hands on it…and he drops the ball. They cannot afford to make that kind of play.

11:04: The ‘Noles get a decent screen pass off of the blitz, but they’re still 3 yards short of a first down. They have little choice but to go for it inside the Clemson 25. They might not get another scoring chance this good.

11:07 (12: 34 in 4th): First down! Weatherford is flushed out of the pocket, but he mangaes to find Chris Carr on the right side, and he goes out of bounds at the 15.

11:09 (11:41 in 4th): TOUCHDOWN! On third and long, tWeatherford makes a great pass to Richard Goodman in the endzone. Clemson’s lead is now down to 24-18, and there’s still plenty of time left. Can Clemson get it back together and hold on after dominating the first 42 and a half minutes of the game?

11:15 (11:26 in 4th): Another holding penalty against Clemson. They’re digging themselves in a hole right now. The are badly in need of a big offensive play.

11:16 (10:05 in 4th): Aaron Kelly makes a great effort to take the screen pass for twelve yards and close to a first down.

11:18 (9:33 in 4th): Kelly makes another catch, and Clemson finally gets a big first down. If nothing else, is eats clock and give the defense time to regroup.

11:19 (8:43 in 4th): A big defensive lapse by the Seminoles. Clemson gets a third and short, and Florida State jumps too early. And easy first down, and now Clemson is past midfield.

11:21 (8:05 in 4th): Oh god, Not another holding penalty.

No matter what the state of Florida State football is, the Tomahawk chop is always a bit intimidating in person.

11:23 (6:43 in 4th): Kelly makes a big mistake. Harper threw him a beautiful ball, but Kelly couldn’t find it in the air. Clemson punts, and they manage to pin Florida State at their own 4. Florida State has 96 yards to go, and they have a lot less time to do it now.

11:26 (5:29 in the 4th): Clemson’s defense steps up, forcing a 3-and out in one minute. FSU has little choice but to punt, Clemson will get the ball in FSU territory, and now they are back in complete control of this game.

11:31 (4:47 in the 4th): Clemson had to burn a second timeout.

11:32 (3:57 in the 4th): Again Clemson throws on 3rd down, and again the receiver can’t find the ball. FSU goes for the punt block, but Clemson punts for a touchback. The Seminoles now have 80 yards to cover in less than 4 minutes.

11:34 (3:27 in the 4th): Weatherford makes a great pass across the body to Antone Smith, and he manages to break a few tackles before being taken down at midfield.

11:35 (3:00 in the 4th): FSU is already at the Clemson 31.

11:36 (2:32 in the 4th): Florida State is suddenly facing 3rd and 10 after two broken pass plays.

11:37: The defense finally blitzes, and is pays off, as Weatherford is barely able to release the incomplete pass.

11:38: SACK! Phillip Merling brings down Weatherford, and Florida State turns over on downs. The defense really stepped up in those last four plays, preventing Weatherford from getting any good looks whatsoever.

11:39 (1:29 in the 4th): After two run plays, Florida State is forced to take their final timeout.

11:42 (:40 in the 4th): Clemson can’t get the first down, but they ruin the clock down, and FSU will only have about 30 seconds to get a score.

11:43: 29 seconds. 61 yards. This is it.

11:44: Weatherford does the one thing he couldn’t afford to do: he got tackled and fumbled the ball. He spikes the ball, but he only has 6 seconds left.

11:46: Weatherford throws a bullet to Goodman, but is it a catch? He seems to have caught it before a defender knocked the ball out with his helmet.

It’s ruled incomplete! AND THE GAME IS OVER! Clemson hangs on to win, 24-18. Clemson had dominated the first 42 minutes of the game, then nearly gave it away in the next 6 minutes as FSU came within one score. From there, the defense rose to the occasion and hung on for the win. This was a very exciting game and should be huge boost for Clemson this season.

2 Responses to “FSU vs. Clemson Live Blog: Bowden Bowl IX”

  1. Nice live blog. Was an entertaining way to start the season…let’s hope more ACC games are similarly exciting.

  2. Mike White said

    This was a very exciting game. I’m hoping we don’t have a season-long letdown like last year. The realignment hasn’t gone quite as well as we all thought in the first few years. But there’s still plenty of time to make it work.

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