Scores

Final

Florida State 24

(4-5, 2-4 ACC)

Clemson 40

(6-3, 4-2 ACC)

7:45 PM ET, November 7, 2009

Memorial Stadium, CLEMSON, SC

1 2 3 4 T
FSU 17 0 7 024
CLEM 6 8 7 1940

Top Performers

Passing: K. Parker (CLEM) - 242 YDS, 4 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: C. Spiller (CLEM) - 22 CAR, 165 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: R. Owens (FSU) - 9 REC, 77 YDS

Spiller rushes for 165 yards, touchdown as Clemson routs Florida St.

Associated Press

CLEMSON, S.C. -- C.J. Spiller couldn't help himself, and after his latest record-setting performance he probably deserved to tout himself as a Heisman Trophy contender.

At the end of Spiller's high-stepping, 5-yard touchdown run, Clemson's star tailback flashed a quick Heisman pose.

"A baby, a mini one," he finally admitted Saturday night.

Spiller had a career-high 165 yards rushing and his 20th touchdown of at least 50 yards to lead the Tigers closer to the Atlantic Coast Conference title game in a 40-24 victory over Florida State.

It was Clemson's fourth straight victory after starting 2-3 and a chance for Spiller to enhance his rising Heisman hopes.

The usually humble Spiller tried at first to deny the bit of showboating at the end of perhaps Clemson's biggest victory in four seasons.

"All the pose you'll see is if I'm hopefully in New York and holding up the trophy," he said.

He has a shot if he keeps posting numbers like this. Along with his rushing TD, Spiller had a 58-yard scoring catch and finished with 312 all-purpose yards, surpassing the school record of 310 set two games ago in a 40-37 overtime win at Miami.

"I doubt if anybody is playing better than him in the country," Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said.

A bigger stage is in Spiller and the Tigers' reach.

Clemson (6-3, 4-2 ACC) can take the ACC's Atlantic Division with victories over North Carolina State and Virginia the next two weeks and advance to the league's title game for the first time.

A win there and Clemson is off to the Orange Bowl with its first ACC title since 1991.

For Florida State (4-5, 2-4), it was the fifth loss to Clemson in the past seven meetings -- and could revive the debate over Bowden's future with a program he brought to two national championships the last 33 years.

Bowden, who turns 80 on Sunday, said the game came down to Spiller and Seminoles errors.

Christian Ponder, the ACC's passing leader, missed two days of practice with sore ribs and threw four interceptions after having only three all year.

And a Seminoles defense that hoped to send retiring coordinator Mickey Andrews off with a flourish, failed to contain the Tigers after holding a 17-6 lead.

Bowden said his team was poised for three quarters. "Then, of course, the dam broke," he said.

The Seminoles' hopes for a division title are gone now after the first Clemson-Florida State game in Death Valley that did not match Bowden against his son, Tommy, in 10 years.

Fans rushed Frank Howard Field with a sense Clemson and coach Dabo Swinney, who took over for Tommy Bowden during last season, were closing in on a championship goal.

Spiller become the school's all-time pass catcher among running backs and he and track partner, receiver Jacoby Ford, broke an NCAA mark for all-purpose yardage by teammates, bettering the 10,253 yards of Marshall Faulk and Darnay Scott of San Diego State from 1991-93.

"Who wouldn't want him on their team?" Clemson offensive coordinator Billy Napier said of Spiller.

After Dwayne Allen's 17-yard catch put Clemson ahead 6-3 -- Richard Jackson missed the team's first extra point since the 2006 Music City Bowl -- Ponder answered right back with a 49-yard scoring throw to Lonnie Pryor less than two minutes later.

Then the Seminoles defense got into the act, Jamie Robinson returning a Kyle Parker interception 52 yards to go up 17-6.

The fireworks slowed down in the second, largely thanks to mistake from both offenses.

Ponder threw a pair of picks after entering with three.

Clemson tightened the game, taking advantage of Chris Thompson's fumble in his own territory. Two plays later, Parker found a streaking Xavier Dye across the middle of the field who finished off a 43-yard touchdown.

Spiller converted the first 2-point conversion of his career to cut the Seminoles lead to 17-14.

Spiller's 45-yard run late in the second half looked like it might bring Clemson more points. However, the Tigers came up empty after a first-and-goal from the 1.

Florida State took the lead for the last time, 24-21, when Jermaine Thomas closed a 16-play drive with a 1-yard TD run.

That's when the Tigers showed their newfound poise.

"We taught these guys to be a lot tougher," Swinney said. "During the fourth quarter, we used a lot of mental toughness to overcome the pressures of the game."

It doesn't hurt to have a guy like Spiller, too.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
FSU
CLEM
1st Downs2221
Total Yards392483
Passing264242
Rushing128241
Penalties6-377-60
3rd Down Conversions6-117-14
4th Down Conversions0-10-1
Turnovers52
Possession32:4227:18

Passing Leaders

Florida StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Ponder21/332648.014
ClemsonC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Parker18/302428.141

Rushing Leaders

Florida StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Thomas261194.6113
Ponder5132.609
ClemsonCARYDSAVGTDLG
Spiller221657.5145
Ellington6549.0143

Receiving Leaders

Florida StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Owens9778.6014
Reed46817.0044
ClemsonRECYDSAVGTDLG
Dye36822.7143
Spiller36722.3158

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERFSUCLEM
FG07:02Dustin Hopkins 35 Yd 30
TD03:53Dwayne Allen 17 Yd Pass From Kyle Parker (Pat Failed) 36
TD02:08Lonnie Pryor 49 Yd Pass From Christian Ponder (Dustin Hopkins Kick) 106
TD00:24Jamie Robinson 52 Yd Interception Return (Dustin Hopkins Kick) 176
SECOND QUARTERFSUCLEM
TD10:23Xavier Dye 43 Yd Pass From Kyle Parker (C.J. Spiller Run For Two-Point Conversion) 1714
THIRD QUARTERFSUCLEM
TD11:31C.J. Spiller 58 Yd Pass From Kyle Parker (Richard Jackson Kick) 1721
TD05:04Jermaine Thomas 1 Yd Run (Dustin Hopkins Kick) 2421
FOURTH QUARTERFSUCLEM
TD09:37Andre Ellington 9 Yd Run (Pat Failed) 2427
TD04:06Durrell Barry 2 Yd Pass From Kyle Parker (Pat Failed) 2433
TD03:29C.J. Spiller 5 Yd Run (Richard Jackson Kick) 2440