TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — With Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston watching from the sideline, No. 1 Florida State came back to beat No. 22 Clemson 23-17 in overtime on Karlos Williams’ 12-yard touchdown run Saturday night.
Winston was suspended for the game against Clemson (1-2, 0-1 ACC) after making “offensive and vulgar” comments earlier this week on campus.
His backup, Sean Maguire, had an up-and-down night, and Clemson had enough missed opportunities to allow Florida State (3-0, 1-0) to extend its winning streak to 19 games.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney declined to attempt a 33-yard field goal on the first possession of overtime and Adam Choice was stuffed for no gain on fourth-and-1. Two plays later, Williams bounced outside and went untouched into the end zone.
Clemson kicker Ammon Lakip had missed two short field goals earlier in the game.
Maguire made the first start of his career. He was regularly pressured by a loaded Clemson defensive line and completed 21 of 39 passes for 305 yards with two interceptions and a 74-yard touchdown to Rashad Greene to tie it at 17 with 6:04 left in the fourth.
The two teams went into overtime after a fourth quarter of mishmash, game-changing plays on both sides. Clemson freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson threw a beautiful 39-yard pass in between two defenders, caught by a diving Mike Williams to set up a 2-yard touchdown run by the quarterback.
Maguire threw an interception that gave Clemson to ball in FSU territory with 2:14 left in the fourth. But Clemson’s C.J. Davidson was stripped by Eddie Goldman and FSU recovered at 1:36 inside the Florida State 20, and the Seminoles then played for OT.
Clemson absolutely dominated the first half on both sides of the ball. The Tigers outgained the Seminoles 249-84. Florida State was held to minus-22 rushing yards, including negative 21 yards on three sacks.
Clemson took a 10-3 lead in to halftime which easily could have been 17-3. The Tigers drove to the Florida State 6 on their second possession and starting quarterback Cole Stoudt threw a pass in the dirt to Jordan Leggett, who was wide open in the flat and would have walked into the end zone. Lakip then missed a 23-yard field goal wide left.
Roberto Aguayo hit 50-yard field goal midway through the first quarter to give FSU a 3-0 lead, but that was the offensive highlight of the first 30 minutes.
Lakip knocked in a 30-yard field goal eight seconds into the second quarter and Clemson took the lead on a D.J. Howard 1-yard touchdown run with 5:56 left in the half. That became the first time Florida State trailed in a regular season game in 655 minutes and 53 seconds.
The Seminoles offensive line versus the Clemson defensive line was one of the most anticipated matchups going into the game. Florida State features five senior starters and Clemson brought four senior starters, including All-American Vic Beasley who has the most career sacks by an active player in the FBS. The Tigers owned the line of scrimmage in the first half with three sacks and shutting down every would-be rushing lane. That kept Maguire from every getting comfortable.
Watson, maybe the ACC’s next great quarterback, threw for 266 yards and ran for 30.
The Clemson offense picked up steam after it benched Stoudt for Watson, the No. 1-rated dual-threat quarterback coming out of high school.
Florida State Athletic Director Stan Wilcox declined to comment on the Winston suspension Saturday.
Winston was not made available after the loss.