Florida State scores come-from-behind win over Clemson
Tallahassee, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Fourth-ranked Florida State exploded in the second half, scoring 35 points behind two touchdown heaves from quarterback EJ Manuel, en route to a come-from-behind 49-37 victory over No. 10 Clemson Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium.
Manuel completed 27 of 35 passes for a career-high 380 passing yards and two scores and rushed for a career-best 102 yards on 12 carries to lead the Seminoles to their fourth straight victory.
He became the first Seminoles (4-0, 2-0 ACC) quarterback to throw for at least 300 yards and rush for another 100 in a game since Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward did it in 1992.
“It was a big game … but I’m not going to put it on me. It was a team effort,” said Manuel, who talked to Ward on the eve of the game.
“He’s always encouraging,” Manuel said of Ward. “He’s an exciting person to talk to; first of all, it’s Charlie Ward. He’s a huge mentor for me and I thank him for everything he’s done for me.”
“I can’t remember off the top of my head a bad decision all night,” FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said of Manuel. “EJ Manuel like I say all the time, I get to coach him every day and look in his eyes and know how he works and what he does and what he thinks, he is a tremendous young man, a great leader for our football team.”
At first, the typically strong Seminoles defense struggled to stop Clemson’s (3-1, 0-1 ACC) high-powered offense, and trailed 28-14, five minutes into the third quarter.
Clemson playmaker Tahj Boyd opened the game with a 60-yard touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins before Lonnie Prior retaliated with a 13-yard touchdown run to tie the count at seven.
Andre Ellington made it 14-7 with a six-yard scoring rush but James Wilder Jr. bounced with a five-yard touchdown rush of his own for the Seminoles to knot the game at 14.
The Tigers scored back-to-back touchdowns bridging the second and third periods to lead by 14. The Seminoles scored three touchdowns – two by Manuel – as against a field goal by Clemson to grab a 35-31 lead at the start of the final quarter.
Wilder and tailback Chris Thompson started the fourth quarter for the Seminoles with back-to-back touchdowns for a commanding 49-31 lead. Boyd tried to rally the Tigers with a three-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Ford but time ran out on them.
Thompson finished the game with 103 yards on 15 carries and two scores and also led FSU in receiving with 79 yards on eight catches. Wilder ran for 65 yards on nine carries while Greg Dent added a career-best five catches for 72 yards.