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The Program: Can Florida State's Defense Rise to the Challenge Against Clemson?

Michael FelderNational CFB Lead WriterJune 27, 2016

Last season the Seminoles put up 30 points, 23 on offense, which should have been enough to win most any game with their defense. Except that Florida State's defense allowed Clemson to score 35 points in a game that showed that the Tigers had one of the nation's most efficient offenses.

This year, in Tallahassee, there are two big things to watch: how hellbent Florida State is to shut down Clemson, and how much of an impact EJ Manuel can have on the game.

Clint Trickett played his behind off in 2011, but now Manuel, who has slowly been unleashed in 2012, is at the helm for the Seminoles. The experienced quarterback is seeing the reins loosened by head coach Jimbo Fisher from a play-calling and comfort in the offensive scheme standpoint, and he is responding. Now, against a defense inexperienced in its new scheme, we'll see if Manuel and Fisher can exploit the Tigers.

For Bjoern Werner, Christian Jones, Lamarcus Joyner and Co. this game is one of redemption. The 'Noles got torched by some big plays out of the Clemson offense last year, and this year they are on a mission to prove their worth. Expect to see pads popping, but stopping Tajh Boyd, Andre Ellington, Nuke Hopkins and Sammy Watkins is no small task.

On this edition of The Program we take a look at Florida State hosting Clemson.

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