KICKOFF: Saturday, 8 p.m. ET
SITE: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, S.C.
SERIES: Florida State leads the series, 18-8, although Clemson has beaten the Seminoles five consecutive times at home.
RANKINGS: Florida State No. 5, Clemson No. 3
KEYS TO THE GAME
One of Clemson's keys to success in its 6-0 start has been the Tigers' ability to get contributions from a wide range of offensive players. Just six games into the season, a school-record 11 different receivers have caught touchdown passes and 13 different offensive players have reached the end zone.
"Most of the time, when I'm happy, it's because more guys are touching the ball," Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd said. "When you have a lot of guys contributing, that means we're doing the right things."
That diversified offense could come in handy once again this week as No. 3 Clemson plays host to No. 5 Florida State in a highly anticipated Atlantic Coast Conference showdown at Memorial Stadium.
The battle of unbeaten teams has far-reaching repercussions, not the least of which are chances of winning the Atlantic Division title, earning a berth in the ACC championship game and remaining in contention for the national title.
To keep those dreams alive, the Tigers would be well-served to continue "spreading the wealth."
"That's just a philosophy we have," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. "The more playmakers you have, the tougher it is for defenses to concentrate on one guy."
Three different Clemson running backs have scored this season, and that list doesn't include starter and leading rusher Roderick McDowell. All three of Clemson's tight ends have caught a touchdown pass, as have all six of the team's top receivers.
"I think it says that we're pretty comfortable in how we substitute," Swinney said. "We're confident in all of those guys, and we have some good experience mixed in with all the youth."
Even standout receiver Sammy Watkins has embraced the concept, saying he "can't focus on yards."
"It's all about the team and winning," Watkins said.
Watkins also has proven to be quite the decoy.
"He's as good of a decoy as there is in the game -- that's one decoy they cover," Swinney said. "He's pretty good bait, and that keeps them guessing and creates opportunities for other people."
And for Clemson, that seems to be a formula for success.
Some are labeling the 27th meeting in the rivalry the biggest game in ACC history -- and that would be hard to argue. The nationally-televised primetime duel features a pair of Heisman candidates leading two of the nation's most explosive offenses against defenses ripe with NFL prospects. The matchup has even attracted ESPN's College GameDay crew to deafening Death Valley, where Florida State will enter as a surprising three-point favorite considering its recent dismal history in South Carolina.
Dismal, as in, five straight losses.
Might that mess with the Seminoles' psyche?
"I don't think so. What happened to those other teams is not this team," FSU fourth-year coach Jimbo Fisher said of the Seminoles' 12-year drought since the program's last victory at Clemson in 2001. "You can't worry about those things. You can't worry about the past. Even if we had won 10 in a row (at Clemson) doesn't mean you can go up there and win this week."
Williams, a safety-turned-running back this season, was on defense last year when FSU beat Clemson in a shootout in Tallahassee, 49-37. Now he's leading the Seminoles (5-0, 3-0 in the ACC), who are coming off a bye week, with six touchdowns and is part of the nation's fourth-ranked offense, which is also third in FBS in scoring (53.6 points per game) and second in passing efficiency.