by Alan Spector

Playing without their Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, the No.1 Florida State Seminoles had to work overtime for a 23-17 victory over Clemson on Saturday night in Tallahassee.

The game was the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams.

With his suspension for using vulgar language on campus extended from a half-game to the full game, Jameis Winston could only be a cheerleader on the sidelines for his backup, Sean Maguire.

Maguire, making his first career start, recovered from a shaky beginning to bring the Seminoles from behind late in regulation.

22nd-ranked Clemson had taken a 17-10 lead on a two-yard touchdown run by freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson early in the fourth quarter.

Then, with 6:04 left in the game, Maguire countered with a 74-yard scoring strike to Rashad Greene. 

However, Maguire nearly gave the game away when he threw a late interception that gave the Tigers the ball deep in FSU territory.

He was bailed out when the Seminoles defense recovered a fumble with 1:36 to go and Florida State ran out the clock to force overtime.

Clemson got the ball first in the extra period and was stopped on a fourth-and-one run. 

The Seminoles took possession and scored the game-winning touchdown in two plays, 13-yard and 12-yard runs by Karlos Williams.

FSU is now 3-0 on the season and 1-0 in the ACC.  Clemson falls to 1-2 and 0-1.

In other state sports news...

  • No. 2 Alabama rolled up 645 yards of total offense in a 42-21 blowout of Florida.  That is the most yardage ever given up in a single game by a Gators defense. 
  • Making his first career start at home, UCF quarterback Justin Holman threw two touchdown passes as the Knights routed Bethune-Cookman, 41-7.
  • Elsewhere in college football, Miami (FL) lost at 24th-ranked Nebraska, 41-31; Louisville posted a 34-3 victory at FIU, Florida Atlantic lost at Washington, 20-19, and it was Coastal Carolina 48, Florida A&M 3; and Stetson 37, Birmingham Southern 19.
  • In Major League Baseball on Saturday, the Tampa Bay Rays downed the White Sox, 3-1; and the Nationals edged the Miami Marlins, 3-2.