Florida State Football 2011: Can Clint Trickett Lead FSU over Clemson?

Daniel BrommerCorrespondent ISeptember 23, 2011

TALLAHASSEE, FL - SEPTEMBER 17:  Clint Trickett #9 of the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium on September 17, 2011 in Tallahassee, Florida.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

All signs are pointing to redshirt freshman quarterback Clint Trickett making his first ever start for the Florida State Seminoles against their hated rivals—the Clemson Tigers.

All signs are pointing to E.J. Manuel, the starting quarterback, sitting out due to a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder, his non-throwing arm. Lucky for Manuel and the Seminoles, Trickett showed enough in the waning moments of the Oklahoma game that he's capable of leading the offense.

Still, this is a different atmosphere. For starters, Trickett won't be at home in front of 80,000 screaming fans cheering for him. He'll be in front of a full house at Clemson full of thousands of fans hoping and wishing for his defeat in front of their eyes and screaming their lungs out in hopes of seeing it.

Trickett will be challenged, and with the offense struggling, he may be relied on to spark some magic just to win the game. Clemson appears to be a far better team than last year, and they have plenty of young talent across the board eager to make a name for themselves and to drop the 11th ranked Seminoles at home and bring their record to 4-0.

Another thing to consider is will Trickett be able to last the entire game? The offensive line clearly has protection issues after giving up a lot of sacks to Oklahoma last week, and Trickett isn't exactly the most developed quarterback in the country, let alone the ACC.

No one can question his toughness. He came in against the top ranked team and stuck his chin out plenty of times knowing he was going to get punched. He showed a lot of maturity for such a youngster and his youthfulness and die hard attitude will be essential to a Florida State victory tomorrow.

Florida State is at a crossroads right now and a loss to Clemson will derail their season and possibly their ACC title hopes. Not only that, a BCS bowl game will be out of the question, and they will be left wondering what went wrong and saying the same thing they've been saying for over a decade now—there's always next year.