Since 2009, the ACC's Atlantic Division has only been won by two teams: Clemson and Florida State. The Tigers have five division crowns to Florida State's four, including wins in each of the last three years. That recent edge appears to be still in place here in 2018, as the undefeated Tigers bring their No. 2 ranking to Tallahassee for their first meeting with the Willie Taggart-led Seminoles.
If Clemson is going to win, as the experts expect, it's going to be just the fifth road victory in series history. The Tigers enter the game after an impressive showing against NC State in a 41-7 win, the best showing so far from the offense since Trevor Lawrence was named the starting quarterback. Florida State may be off pace from division title expectations, but it's a team that's improved defensively and could provide some problems for the freshman quarterback.
Date: Saturday, Oct. 27 | Time: Noon ET
Location: Doak Campbell Stadium -- Tallahassee, Florida
TV: ESPN | Live stream: WatchESPN
Clemson: In a meeting of two undefeated teams, Clemson imposed its will against a solid NC State offensive front. It was a reminder of just how special that group is, and if they're rounding into form now, it's a great sign for the Tigers' national championship run. When you are stacking this year's group up against the other teams at the top of college football, Clemson needs to have its defensive line be elite to compete. That group has a chance to lead the way again on Saturday against a Florida State offensive line that has struggled to protect Deondre Francois. That kind of dominance can build confidence, particularly as more of the backups get cycled into the rotation against quality competition.
Florida State: This is the first of three straight games against ranked teams for Willie Taggart, and at 4-3 the margin for error is already getting pretty thin for making a bowl game. Considering the decades-long streak of postseason play, getting wins Nos. 5 and 6 is quickly becoming the biggest storyline for the final month of Taggart's first regular season in Tallahassee. The schedule goes Clemson, NC State and Notre Dame before finishing the season at home against Boston College and Florida. Are there two wins in those five games? Is there one? Florida State is getting better, but it's going to need at least one really special performance in order for the season to extend beyond November.
Game prediction, picks
Just like last week, the three-score spread is baiting you into taking the underdog. Just like last week, I expect Clemson to have its way and win easily. This spread could move as high as 20.5 and I think I'd still side with the Tigers. Pick: Clemson -17.5
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