Top stats to know: FSU at Clemson

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This is the first meeting among 27 in their history where Clemson and Florida State are top-five teams.

Saturday will be the 27th meeting between Clemson and Florida State dating back to their inaugural meeting in 1970, and the first where both teams are ranked in the top five.

The last six times they’ve met as ranked teams, Florida State has been the higher-ranked team, and FSU is 5-1 in those games.

You have to go back to before Florida State joined the ACC in 1992 to find the last time they met as ranked teams and Clemson was ranked higher: it was 1989 and Danny Ford’s Tigers beat Bobby Bowden’s Seminoles.

Our first top-5 matchup

Across the college football landscape, this game marks our first AP top-five matchup of the season. Last year we didn’t have our first top-five matchup until November 3 (Week 10) when No. 1 Alabama defeated No. 5 LSU.

Since the ACC added Florida State as a member in 1992, the conference has seen four top-five matchups:

  • 1997: No. 3 Florida State beats No. 5 North Carolina on the road, 20-3

  • 2004: No. 5 Miami (FL) beats No. 4 Florida State at home, 16-10

  • 2005: No. 5 Miami (FL) beats No. 3 Virginia Tech on the road, 27-7

Winston vs. Boyd

FSU’s Jameis Winston has posted an opponent-adjusted QBR of 91.7 this season, the third-best among FBS quarterbacks. He is the only quarterback in the FBS to rank among the top five in Total QBR, completion percentage, and passing yards per attempt.

But this will only be the third road game of Winston's young career, and it will be his first career game against a team ranked higher than 25th in the AP poll. He's up against a much more experience QB for Clemson.

Tajh Boyd has the luxury of being in this position already this season after Clemson beat No. 5 Georgia at home to open the season. He's shown his strength in downfield passing this season.

Boyd has an AQ-high 23 touchdowns on passes thrown 20 yards or longer since the start of last season. He's also completing 51.5 percent of those passes, good for fourth among BCS-AQ quarterbacks.

Barring injury, Boyd will pass Chris Weinke for third place on the all-time ACC passing yardage list this week. He also needs just three more touchdowns, passing or rushing, to tie Philip Rivers for the ACC career record. Rivers had 112 in his North Carolina State career, Boyd has 109.

Offenses and defenses measured per drive

Florida State is arguably college football's most efficient offense so far this season, leading FBS with 4.2 points per drive. That's just ahead of the Baylor Bears and Oregon Ducks, who rank second and third.

But Clemson's defense has been up to the task this season, allowing only 1.08 points per drive. That ranks 11th across the country, an improvement from last season's defense that ranked 49th in yielding 1.81 points per drive.