CLEMSON -- Enjoy the next 2 1/2 seasons of Sammy Watkins, Clemson Nation. The true freshman receiver is looking like a potential first-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft.
Watkins made eight catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns in a 35-30 win against No. 11 Florida State on Saturday, including a 62-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter that made the game a two-possession affair. The performance came a week after catching 10 passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns against Auburn.
In the first quarter, Watkins plucked a 23-yard touchdown pass from above his head for his fifth touchdown catch of the season, breaking DeAndre Hopkins' freshman record of four touchdown catches set last season.
Watkins' blend of speed, strength and body control caught the eye of ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay, who wrote on Twitter during Saturday's game: "Clem WR Watkins back at it with 1st QTR TD … How is he a Frosh?"
It's a question many are undoubtedly wondering around the ACC. Last week, tight end Dwayne Allen joked someone might need to check Watkins' birth certificate.
Watkins is also on pace to break the all-time, single- season receiving yardage total at Clemson held by Rod Gardner (1,084 yards, 1999). Through four games, Watkins is on pace for 1,299 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns.
Clemson punter Dawson Zimmerman did not return to the game after suffering a knee injury in the second quarter. Zimmerman's right leg was hit by a Florida State defender on a block attempt. Coach Dabo Swinney said he expects Zimmerman to be OK. Spencer Benton replaced Zimmerman at punter. Swinney said DeAndre Hopkins "tweaked" a hamstring.
He tweeted it
Wrote Zimmerman on his Twitter account following the game: "Feeling great after knee amputation. Kidding ... Thanks for the prayers. Things look good."
In Catanzaro they trust?
With three minutes to play and Clemson leading 35-30, Swinney went for a fourth-and-1 at the FSU 22 rather than attempt a 40-yard field goal with kicker Chandler Catanzaro. Clemson was stuffed on the play. Catanzaro missed a kick badly earlier in the game.
Bellamy still non-factor
Swinney said RB Andre Ellington "gutted out" a 23-carry, 74-yard effort playing at less than 100 percent (hamstring). That freshman Mike Bellamy did not play more is telling of his failure to grasp the offense and Clemson's lack of running back depth. Bellamy had two carries for zero yards. Fellow reserve running back D.J. Howard was out with a hamstring injury.
Florida State true freshman tight end Nick O'Leary made his first career start Saturday. He is the grandson of golfing great Jack Nicklaus … Florida State threw deep often against Clemson on Saturday, knowing the Tigers have suffered from multiple blown coverages early in the season. Clemson corner back Darius Robinson was beaten on a 57-yard touchdown and hit with a pass interference call.