TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida State took Clemson to apart and Tigers coach Dabo Swinney is hoping his players can at least come away with a lesson learned.
The fourth-ranked Seminoles rolled up 667 yards of total offense and scored 35 second-half points to erase No. 10 Clemson's seven-point halftime lead on their way to a 49-37 victory Saturday night.
"We just didn't play four quarters," Swinney said. "It's a great game for us to grow and learn from. There's a lot of football left. Certainly we've got a lot of improving to do."
Florida State's EJ Manuel threw for a career-high 380 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another 102 yards in the biggest Atlantic Coast Conference game in years.
Chris Thompson ran for 103 yards and two scores and James Wilder Jr. added two touchdowns runs for the Seminoles (4-0, 2-0).
"We couldn't stop the run," Swinney said. "Our team, I thought they fought hard, but again, right there at the end the momentum change late in the third quarter going into the fourth quarter we just weren't able to turn it back."
Clemson (3-1, 0-1) built a 28-14 lead early in the third quarter on a 52-yard pass from All-American receiver Sammy Watkins to Andre Ellington.
Swinney said the turning point was Lamarcus Joyner's 90-yard kickoff return after Clemson's Chandler Catanzaro kicked a 50-year field goal to put the Tigers up 31-21.
Joyner was tackled at the Clemson 10 and the Seminoles scored two plays later on a 9-yard Manuel pass to Rashad Greene, narrowing the Tigers' lead to three just before the third quarter ended.
"The kickoff return was huge — just a huge momentum swing in the game," Swinney said. "It kind of lit a fire for them over there."