Sep 20, 2011

Florida State at Clemson is the Champs Sports Bowl Game Of The Week

This season, pick who you think will win the Champs Sports Bowl Game of the Week and WIN! Answer the question on the Champs Sports Bowl Facebook page before Saturday’s game. If you pick correctly, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win two tickets to the Champs Sports Bowl on December 29, 2011!

Florida State leads series, 17-7 (Last meeting: Nov. 13, 2010: Florida State 16, Clemson 13)

The past two ACC Atlantic Division champions square off this weekend in a pivotal conference matchup as Clemson welcomes Florida State to Tiger Stadium and Death Valley. The Seminoles and Tigers have split the last 10 games in the series, with the home team winning each of the last four. FSU has not won at Clemson in a decade, but secured a victory in Tallahassee last year when kicker Dustin Hopkins booted a 55-yard field goal as time expired. Quarterback E.J. Manuel got the start for the ‘Noles in place of the injured Christian Ponder and scored his team’s only touchdown in the 16-13 win.

Florida State looks to rebound from a loss to top-ranked Oklahoma last weekend in front of a record crowd at Doak Campbell Stadium. The Sooners held FSU to only 27 yards rushing in the 10-point win, but still needed a fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Heisman hopeful Landry Jones to seal the victory. A big question mark going into Saturday’s game is the health of Manuel, who was knocked out in the third quarter with a shoulder injury. It wasn’t all bad for Florida State, though. The defense held Oklahoma to its lowest yardage output in almost two years.

The ‘Noles will need another stellar defensive performance to slow down Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd. Boyd is lighting up the competition this year, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and only one interception. The redshirt-sophomore picked apart defending national champion Auburn last weekend, throwing for 386 yards and four scores in the 38-24 win. Boyd’s favorite target this season has been freshman receiver Sammy Watkins. The Florida native has caught at least one touchdown in all three of Clemson’s games this season.

Extra Points:

*The Tigers lost 11 straight matchups against the Seminoles until 2003, when then-head coach Tommy Bowden beat his father (and major college football’s all-time wins leader) Bobby in what was formerly known as the “Bowden Bowl.”

*Clemson has appeared in the Champs Sports Bowl twice. The Tigers were blown out by Texas Tech in 2002 and beat Colorado in 2005. Florida State demolished Wisconsin in the team’s only appearance in 2007.

Expert Picks

Michel Champagne Michel Champagne currently serves as Chairman of Florida Citrus Sports, where his duties include leading Team Selection Committee. He is the Vice President of Operations and General Manager, Orlando Region for Bright House Networks.
Pick: Florida State
Season Record: 2-0
Greg Warmoth Greg Warmoth spent 11 years as the weekend sports anchor for WFTV Channel 9 in Orlando before switching to the news desk in 1997. He currently anchors Eyewitness News Daybreak, Eyewitness News This Morning on TV-27 and Eyewitness News at Noon.
Pick: Clemson
Season Record: 1-1
Marc Daniels Marc Daniels hosts The Beat Of Sports on ESPN 1080 AM in Orlando every weekday morning from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. Daniels has over 20 years of experience on the air and is most well known as “the Voice of the UCF Knights” for all football, men’s basketball and baseball games on the UCF ISP Sports Network.
Pick: Florida State
Season Record: 2-0
Jerry Greene Jerry Greene spent 33 years as a sportswriter at Florida Today, the Pensacola News Journal and the Orlando Sentinel before retiring in 2009. He now co-hosts The Beat of Sports with Daniels and contributes to’s Page 2 section.
Pick: Florida State
Season Record: 1-1

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