Florida State and Clemson have been developing into not only a rivalry, but the race into who will have long term control of the ACC. Similar to Tennessee/Florida in the 90’s, it really seems like FSU/Clemson show no signs of stopping. Currently it feels like FSU is the farthest it has been behind Clemson, especially with a three game losing streak. I started thinking back to the thrilling games in this rivalry the past decade and noticed one important fact. This fact has definitely given Clemson an edge on Florida State on four games in the past seven years. Usually no other team would have this amount of luck. Four of the past seven games against FSU, Clemson has seen the “back up” quarterback.
Years where Clemson faced a backup QB
- 2010 Christian Ponder ———> EJ Manuel Result: W
- 2011 EJ Manuel —————-> Clint Trickett Result: L
- 2014 Jameis Winston ———–> Sean Maguire Result: W
- 2017 Deondre Francois ———> James Blackman Result: L
It is very important to note that the two FSU wins with the backup quarterbacks came in miracle fashion. 2010 we needed a last second field goal to beat the Tigers. 2014 we all know of the legend of Sean Maguire that did enough to win the game, even though Clemson did have it wrapped up. Imagine if Clemson played without Kelly Bryant on Saturday. While losing a starting quarterback is no excuse for a teams failures, Clemson has been getting lucky facing FSU’s second best. Hopefully more times than not we will be able to face the Tigers full strength.