TALLAHASSEE (Florida Sports Wire) – No. 4/5 Clemson scored 17 points in a two-minute span on either side of halftime to take command of the game in a 34-28 win at Florida State on Saturday night.
Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei led Clemson on six consecutive scoring drives as the Tigers (7-0, 5-0 ACC) won their 13th consecutive game, and seventh in a row in the series against the Seminoles (4-3, 2-3 ACC). Running back Will Shipley tallied a career-best 238 all-purpose yards (121 rushing, 48 receiving, 69 kickoff return) in leading the Tiger attack.
Defensively, Clemson allowed touchdowns on two of the first three drives before settling in and holding the Seminoles scoreless for its next six drives, which included three fourth-down stops.
The Tigers tallied nine tackles for loss and a key strip-sack just before halftime that led to another score. Jeremiah Trotter Jr. was credited with a career-best and team-season-high 13 tackles, while Jalyn Phillips had 11. Myles Murphy had six tackles, including 3.5 for loss, and two sacks.
Meanwhile, Uiagalelei accounted for four total touchdowns (three passing, one rushing), was 15-of-23 through the air for 203 yards, and picked up a five-yard rushing touchdown.
Florida State struck first, taking the ball first, and going on a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. Clemson’s defense responded on its next opportunity, as Myles Murphy forced Florida State to punt after sacking Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis for a 15-yard loss. On the Tigers’ next possession, Uiagalelei avoided a sack, stepped up in the pocket, and threw a 59-yard dime to Antonio Williams for the Tigers’ first touchdown of the night.
The Seminoles would then take the lead 14-7 and eat up 6:57 minutes off the clock on a 15-play, 93 yard touchdown drive. Uiagalelei led a response, orchestrating a 13-play, 75-yard drive that included two third-down conversions and a fourth-down pickup.
A 17-yard reception by Williams set the Tigers up inside the 10-yard line, and Uiagalelei found Jake Briningstool from seven yards out for the score two plays later. On the extra point, which tied the score at 14-14, Potter passed Chandler Catanzaro (404 from 2010-13) to become the highest-scoring kicker in Clemson history. He trails only running back Travis Etienne (468) in career points in Clemson history.
On Clemson’s next drive, Potter then hit a 47-yard field goal to give Clemson a lead with 1:51 to play in the first half, his 30th career field goal of 40 yards or longer. On the ensuing Florida State possession, Murphy again got to Travis, this time forcing a fumble that Tyler Davis recovered at the FSU 42-yard line.
Will Shipley took the first play 36 yards inside the ten-yard line, and Uiagalelei scored on a bootleg to the right from five yards out, his fourth touchdown on the ground this season. Clemson went into halftime holding a 24-14 lead.
Clemson came out of halftime strong, as Shipley took the opening kickoff 69 yards to the FSU 31. On the first play from scrimmage, Uiagalelei handed off to Phil Mafah, who tossed to Williams in the backfield.
Williams tossed the ball back to Uiagalelei, who hit Davis Allen in stride up the left sideline for a 31-yard touchdown, the 10th touchdown reception of Allen’s career. Potter tacked on a 34-yarder at the 7:32 mark of the third quarter to extend Clemson’s lead to 34-14.
The Seminoles would score two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter, making the final 34-28.