Noteworthy: Sammy Watkins snares 20th TD, Bashaud Breeland ejected

Tigers give up first points off turnovers this season

Clemson's Sammy Watkins catches a touchdown near Florida State's P.J. Williams during the second quarter at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson's Sammy Watkins catches a touchdown near Florida State's P.J. Williams during the second quarter at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C

Sammy Watkins caught a touchdown pass in the first quarter of Saturday’s game against Florida State to give Clemson its first score of the game.

It was Watkins’ fifth of the season and 20th of his career, which put him in a tie with Aaron Kelly for second most in school history behind DeAndre Hopkins.

Hopkins leads the way with 27.

HIT THE SHOWERS

Clemson defensive back Bashaud Breeland was ejected from the game on Saturday after officials ruled he delivered a blow to the head to Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston in the third quarter.

The hit came with the Seminoles leading 34-7 and following Winston’s 13-yard pass completion to Kelvin Benjamin.

QUICK POINTS

When Florida State scored at 13:38 of the first quarter following a Clemson fumble, it marked the first time in the 2013 season the Tigers had given up the first points of the game off a turnover.

Previously Clemson had outscored its foes 56-0 off initial turnovers.

17 AND COUNTING

Clemson received the opening kickoff for the 17th consecutive time on Saturday when Florida State won the toss and deferred to the second half.

The Tigers like to receive when they win the toss while most teams opt to play defense at the outset, which explains the long streak dating back to early in the 2012 season.

RAREFIED AIR

The ACC was founded in 1953 but in well over a half-century of playing football there have only been four matchups between teams in the league both ranked in the Top 5.

Three of them involved Florida State, and there were none before 1997.

Prior to Saturday’s clash the most recent high-profile league showdown came when No. 5 Miami upset No. 3 Virginia Tech, 27-7, in 2005.

In 2004 No. 5 Miami beat No. 4 FSU, 16-10, in overtime, and the first Top 5 clash saw No. 3 FSU down No. 5 North Carolina 20-3 in 1997.

HOME COOKING

Entering the 2013 game the series between the Tigers and Seminoles has leaned heavily in favor of the home team in 10 of the last 11 years.

The only win by the road team between 2002 and 2012 came in 2006 when Clemson went to Tallahassee and pulled out a 27-20 victory.

That stat, of course, changed on Saturday.

DABO’S A WINNER

Clemson’s Dabo Swinney came into Saturday’s game with an 18-2 home record in ACC games, which is a league record for highest home winning percentage (.900). Ironically, he bumped former Tiger coach Ken Hatfield out of the top spot.

Hatfield was 12-1-1 against the ACC at Death Valley between 1990 and 1993.

BUT JIMBO IS, TOO

While Swinney stands alone in ACC home winning percentage, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher walked into Death Valley on Saturday with a 36-10 record and .782 overall winning percentage. That clip is the highest of any coach in the annals of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Fisher has moved past coaching legend and former ‘Noles boss Bobby Bowden, whose winning percentage was .764.

Fisher improved to 37-10 following his team’s blowout victory.

LOOKING FOR AN OMEN

Florida State improved to 6-0 with its win against Clemson on Saturday. By doing so it marked the first time an FSU team has won its first six games in a season since the 1999 squad.

That team, by the way, won a national championship.

GAME NOTES

- The Seminoles held Vic Beasley without a sack or tackle for loss.

- Florida State averaged 7.7 yards per play, while Clemson was held to 3.8 per play.

- The Seminoles finished with a 565-326 edge in total yardage.

- Clemson averaged just 4.5 yards per passing attempt.

- FSU converted 8 of 12 third-down plays, while Clemson was 5-of-13. The Tigers were 3-of-5 on fourth down.

- FSU finished with a 35:21 to 24:39 possession edge.

- The two teams combined for 200 yards in penalties (104 by FSU and 96 by Clemson).

- Florida State was 6-of-6 in red zone scoring chances.

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