CFB Week 4 Preview & Betting Odds: Clemson vs. Florida State

When top-ranked Florida State hosts Clemson this Saturday (8 p.m. Eastern on ABC), it will be without Heisman-winning quarterback Jameis Winston for the first half.  Florida State suspended Winston for shouting an obscene phrase on campus.

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When top-ranked Florida State hosts Clemson this Saturday (8 p.m. Eastern on ABC), it will be without Heisman-winning quarterback Jameis Winston for the first half.  Florida State suspended Winston for shouting an obscene phrase on campus.

Sophomore Sean Maguire will start in his place, quarterbacking an offense that has merely looked pedestrian so far this season.  Florida State still has plenty of offensive talent though, including receiver Rashad Greene, tight end Nick O’Leary and running back Karlos Williams.

Head coach Jimbo Fisher is confident in his back-up quarterback.  “I think Sean is a very dynamic guy,” said Fisher.  “He has great arm talent, can throw the ball, make all the throws necessary.  He can throw the deep ball. He’s a runner, played in a Wing-T offense in high school, very good runner, very good athlete.  He’s tough, competitive and has a great future here at Florida State.”

Clemson comes into this matchup battle-tested, as the Tigers traveled to Georgia in their season opener.  And despite losing to the Bulldogs, it’s an experience that can help the young team moving forward.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is sending the message that his team will not be intimidated by the defending national champs.  Said Swinney, “They’re not robots. They’re humans.  But you’ve got to find a way to win those competitive matchups. Because at the end of the day, it’s a simple game. If we go down there and we don’t win the turnover margin and they have more big plays, it’s probably going to be a long night for the Tigers.”

This has the makings of a competitive game, and Fisher is aware of the hype.  “It’s a game in which you like to be at Florida State to play in because of the ramifications and the national attention it brings,” he said.

Florida State is currently the favorite at -16.5.  The over/under stands at 60.