The biggest game on the college football schedule in Week 8 is going down at Death Valley on Saturday night, as the Florida State Seminoles head up the east coast to take on the Clemson Tigers.
Both teams are undefeated, and both are ranked in the Top 5 in both the USA Today and Associated Press Top 25 Polls. The team that wins this game will gain invaluable status as a BCS title game contender, while the other will surely drop out of the top five.
The last time we saw Jameis Winston and the Seminoles was two weeks ago in a blowout 63-0 victory over Maryland. This is a team that can put up points in a hurry, averaging 53.6 points per game, which is the third-best total in the nation.
Clemson was tested by Boston College last weekend, pulling out a gutsy 24-14 win at home over the underrated Eagles to improve to 6-0 on the season.
When: Saturday, Oct. 19, at 8 p.m. ET
Where: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, S.C.
Betting Lines (via Covers)
- Over/Under: 64 pts.
- Spread: Clemson (+3)
Florida State Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Ukeme Eligwe||LB||Ques Sat - Suspension - 10/13/13|
|Demonte McAllister||DT||Ques Sat - Concussion - 10/13/13|
|Tyler Hunter||DB||Ques Sat - Neck - 10/13/13|
|Ira Denson||OL||out for season - Shoulder - 10/4/13|
|Mario Pender||RB||out for season - Eligibility - 8/30/13|
|Jeremy Kerr||TE||Out indefinitely - Knee - 8/23/13|
|Kevin Haplea||TE||out for season - Knee - 8/23/13|
|Willie Haulstead||WR||out for season - Academics - 8/17/13|
|Greg Dent||WR||Out indefinitely - Suspension - 8/15/13|
|Jarred Haggins||WR||out for season - Knee - 8/15/13|
Clemson Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Shaq Lawson||DE||Prob Sat - Shoulder - 10/15/13|
|Patrick DeStefano||OL||Ques Sat - Neck - 10/13/13|
|Kevin Dodd||DE||Ques Sat - Toe - 10/13/13|
|Carlos Watkins||T||Ques Sat - Personal - 10/13/13|
|Dane Rogers||DE||Ques Sat - Personal - 10/13/13|
|Charone Peake||WR||out for season - Knee - 9/12/13|
|Mackensie Alexander||DB||Out indefinitely - Groin - 10/3/13|
|Scott Pagano||DT||out for season - Ankle - 9/12/13|
Which Quarterback Will Make the Biggest Statement?
Tajh Boyd and Jameis Winston are both vying for the Heisman Trophy at the halfway point in the season. Between the two of them, they've combined to throw 32 touchdowns and just four interceptions this season—Boyd with 15 touchdowns and two interceptions and Winston with 17 touchdowns and two interceptions.
Which QB has the best chance to win the Heisman Trophy?
Both young men are also capable of making big plays on the run. Boyd has scored five rushing touchdowns, while Winston has rushed for two scores.
This game is huge for both quarterbacks, as their personal and team goals hinge on how well they play on Saturday.
The quarterback who leads his team to victory will have a chance to represent the ACC in the BCS title game with continued success, while the losing quarterback will watch his team fall out of the Top Five.
Florida State hasn't truly been tested this season, but the Seminoles will be baptized by fire in Death Valley on Saturday night.
Clemson has already beaten Georgia at home this year, and since that game the Tigers have allowed no more than 14 points in a single game.
Which team will win?
Winston has been incredibly impressive thus far, leading the nation's third-rated scoring offense. But his lack of big-game experience shouldn't be discounted.
On the other side, Boyd has seen it all in the college ranks. He is playing within himself and the team's game plan this year, and he'll lead his team to another big win at home while solidifying Clemson as a legitimate BCS title contender.
Clemson wins 41-38
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78