FSU routs Clemson in ACC's first top-five clash in eight years

Clemson, SC (SportsNetwork.com) - It was the showcase game the Atlantic Coast Conference had been yearning for.

It was completely one sided.

Star freshman Jameis Winston's Heisman hopes just skyrocketed.

Winston threw for 444 yards and three touchdowns in No. 5 Florida State's 51-14 rout of third-ranked Clemson in the ACC's first top-five showdown in eight years.

Winston was 22-of-34 passing and added a rushing score for the Seminoles (6-0, 4-0 ACC), who are 6-0 for the first time since 1999 when FSU last won it all.

"I'm very proud of him. The guy is a competitor. He steps up in the moment, but we played well around him," FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher said.

The 6-foot-4 Winston has 20 passing touchdowns this season to go with just three interceptions.

The Seminoles broke a five-game skid in Death Valley and handed the fourth- year head coach Fisher his biggest win since taking over for Bobby Bowden, who led the 1999 'Noles squad.

Rashad Greene caught eight passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns, Nick O'Leary hauled in five receptions for 161 yards and Devonta Freeman ran for 84 yards and a touchdown in the triumph.

Cornerback and All-American candidate LaMarcus Joyner had an interception and two forced fumbles.

Tajh Boyd completed 17-of-37 throws for 156 yards and a touchdown to go with two interceptions for Clemson (6-1, 4-1).

The top-five tilt was the fourth in ACC football history and first for the conference since 2005, when No. 5 Miami downed third-ranked Virginia Tech 27-7.

It didn't take long for the hostile Death Valley faithful to become deathly quiet.

Telvin Smith stripped Clemson tight end Stanton Seckinger on the first offensive play of the game following a 9-yard gain. Terrence Brooks recovered the ball at the Clemson 34.

On the third play of Florida State's first touch, Winston lofted a perfectly thrown ball to the 6-foot-5 Kelvin Benjamin, who climbed the ladder to make the back-shoulder catch for the game's first score less than two minutes in.

Following a Tigers punt, Winston led the Seminoles on an elongated 16-play, 77-yard trek that took 7:39 off the clock. Roberto Aguayo capped the drive with a 28-yard field goal.

It didn't take much longer for the FSU defense to make another play.

Joyner came unblocked on a blitz and strip-sacked Boyd on Clemson's ensuing possession. Mario Edwards scooped up the ball and rumbled 37 yards for the score and a shocking 17-0 Seminoles advantage with 3:07 left in the first.

"We fumbled in the beginning, had a busted play, fumbled again and before you know it, it's 17-0. When you spot a team that good 17 points, it's a huge uphill challenge," Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said.

Boyd flipped a 3-yard score to Sammy Watkins later in the frame to get the Tigers on the board.

Winston was intercepted by Bashaud Breeland on FSU's next touch to give Clemson the ball at the Seminoles' 42, but the Tigers did nothing with the prime field position and punted.

Right as the stadium began to get loud gain, Greene did his best to hush them.

Greene hauled in a hitch route and eluded Darius Robinson before scampering 72 yards down the right sideline for the score and a 24-7 FSU lead midway through the second.

Joyner's interception of Boyd on the Tigers' ensuing sequence led to Aguayo's 24-yard field goal as the first half expired to give the Seminoles a 27-7 margin heading into the break.

Winston hit Greene for a 17-yard score on FSU's first march of the third and later ran in from four yards out midway through the period to make it 41-7.

Freeman had a 2-yard TD run early in the fourth and O'Leary's 94-yard reception led to a Aguayo 20-yard field goal for a 51-7 spread.

Clemson backup quarterback Cole Stoudt rushed for a 2-yard score with 13 seconds left to conclude the scoring.

Game Notes

FSU hadn't beaten Clemson in Death Valley since 2001 ... The Seminoles were 8- of-12 on third down, while the Tigers were 5-of-15 in those situations ... FSU outgained Clemson, 565-326.