Nov. 3, 2003
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The No. 3 ranked Florida State Seminoles (8-1, 6-0 ACC) practiced for about an hour and a half on Monday evening in preparation for this weekend’s match-up at Clemson (5-4, 3-3 ACC). Practice was spent working on correcting mistakes from the Notre Dame game along with conditioning and individual drills before working against Tiger scout teams. Junior defensive back Leroy Smith was named ACC Players of the Week for his performance against the Fighting Irish.
“You watch them (Clemson) play Virginia and they’re about as good as anybody,” said head coach Bobby Bowden. “They beat the heck out of Tech (Georgia Tech) and we struggled the whole game. I imagine we’ll catch the same intensity that we caught in 1999 when we went up there with our undefeated football team and had to fight for our lives. To be honest with you I wouldn’t be surprised by the same type of game.”
The Seminoles are coming off a 37-0 shutout win at Notre Dame, while the Tigers fell to conference foe Wake Forest 42-17. FSU is currently second in the nation in scoring defense (10.8), 12th in total defense (284.7 ypg) and fourth in pass efficiency defense (92.5). The Seminole defense leads the ACC in total defense, scoring defense and turnovers forced (25).Clemson has the nation’s 21st rated passing offense (280.3) and the 20th rated passing defense (187.4 ypg).
This will be the 17th meeting between Florida State and Clemson. FSU has won 11 in a row since joining the ACC in 1992 and leads the all-time series 14-2. The last win for the Tigers came in 1989 when the Seminoles fell to Clemson 34-23. The Seminoles have never lost in Clemson, but there have been many tight ball games. Since 1992 there have been three games decided by a touchdown or less played in the series at Clemson. Florida State defeated the Tigers last season by a score of 48-31 as Greg Jones scored three touchdowns while rushing for 165 yards on 22 carries. Wake Forest running back Tarence Williams ran for 149 yards on 19 carries to lead all rushers.
Florida State’s Leroy Smith was named the ACC’s Defensive Back of the Week following his performance against the Fighting Irish. Smith made his second start of the season and had a 90-yard INT for a touchdown in the Seminoles’ 37-0 win at Notre Dame. The 5-10, 179-pound junior is now tied for the team lead with three interceptions on the year. The corner back finished the game with two tackles (one solo), two pass break-ups and a third down stop. Smith’s efforts for the Seminole defense helped shut out Notre Dame for the first time in 25 years (Missouri 3-0, 1978). Florida State has recorded two shutouts on the road in one season for the first time since 1964.
FSU returns to ACC action this Saturday, November 8 at Clemson. Game time is set for 7:45 p.m. and will be carried live on ESPN2.