CLEMSON – The QB matchup: Deshaun Watson vs. Two Road Passes.
All indications from pregame warmups are Florida State is going to go with junior Sean Maguire at the helm of its offense today at Memorial Stadium. Maguire was throwing to and lining up with the first-string, while Everett Golson led the second-string.
Maguire has been on campus for nearly four seasons in Tallahassee, and played in 15 games. But he has only completed one of two career passes (for 11 yards) in a road game; at Wake Forest, in 2013, mopping up for Jameis Winston in a 59-3 win. Maguire also was 0-for-3 in the Rose Bowl last season, a 59-20 loss to Oregon.
The two claims to fame for Maguire: beating Clemson last fall 23-17, completing 21-of-39 passes for 304 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions, and beating Syracuse last week 45-21, completing 23-of-35 passes for 348 yards and three touchdowns. Both of those games were at Doak Campbell Stadium.
Golson, a former Notre Dame transfer, has struggled after winning the starting job in the fall. He has completed 67 percent of his passes for 1,659 yards (8.0 per attempt) for 11 touchdowns and one interception, but he was 20-for-30 or 210 yards and an interception in FSU’s only loss this year, a 22-16 defeat at Georgia Tech.
Running back Dalvin Cook, the nation’s No. 2 rusher, is good to go after sitting out last week with an ankle injury. Linebacker Terrance Smith is also available.
For Clemson, reserve wide receiver Trevion Thompson (eight catches, 86 yards) suffered a concussion during the week in practice and will not suit up.
The point spread appears to be set to close at Clemson -10.5, the first game Florida State will play as a double-digit underdog since joining the ACC 24 years ago.