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NCAA Game Summary - Clemson at Florida State
(Saturday, November 8th)
Final Score: (24) Florida State 41, Clemson 27
Tallahassee, FL (Sports Network) - Antone Smith rushed for 57 yards and a pair of touchdowns as 24th-ranked Florida State overcame an early deficit to top Clemson, 41-27, at Doak Campbell Stadium.
Christian Ponder completed 16-of-27 passes for 153 yards, one score and an interception for the Seminoles (7-2, 4-2 ACC), winners in five of six.
Ponder also rushed for a TD, while Corey Surrency had a pair of receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown as Florida State won on head coach Bobby Bowden's 79th birthday.
"Oh, that's exciting," said Florida State running back Jermaine Thomas. "You can't get any better. I know that was a good birthday present for him."
Cullen Harper passed for 240 yards and a two touchdowns on 19-of-33 completions for the Tigers (4-5, 2-4), who have dropped four of five.
C.J. Spiller gained 66 yards and a score on 13 carries, while adding three receptions for 55 yards and another touchdown.
"Defensively, we are very disappointed," said Clemson interim head coach Dabo Swinney. "Our defense has played very well the last three ball games or so. We just couldn't get off the field today."
Graham Gano's 52-yard field goal from the right hashmark off the goalpost began the comeback and brought FSU within 10-3 with 5:56 to play in the opening quarter.
Neefy Moffett put a damper on the next Tigers drive, picking off Harper deep in Clemson territory and going 18 yards to tie the game.
Gano's 37-yarder early in the second quarter put the Seminoles ahead by three, then a fumble by Tony Carter on a punt gave Clemson the ball at the FSU nine. Harper hit Michael Palmer two plays later for the nine-yard go-ahead score.
Ponder's one-yard run with 1:25 left in the half put Florida State back up 20-17, and Surrency's 14-yard reception for a score less than four minutes into the second half made it 27-17.
Clemson did not have an answer until Mark Buchholz drilled a 20-yarder with 3:43 to play in the third to make it a seven-point game, then the Seminoles got more breathing room with 10:31 left in the contest when Smith scored from one yard out.
Harper's 15-yard TD pass to Jacoby Ford with 2:24 to go was negated when replay determined his helmet came off close to the goal line. Two plays later, though, Spiller ran in from the two and it was 34-27.
Following an onside kick recovery, Smith's 41-yard touchdown for a 41-27 contest with 1:49 left finally sealed the victory for FSU.
Clemson got on the board first, as Spiller hauled in a pass from Harper, exploded through the line and raced 44 yards for a touchdown.
A 41-yard field goal by Buchholz on the following Clemson drive upped the lead to 10-0.
FSU racked up 419 yards of offense to 316 for Clemson...Harper was sacked six times...Clemson had won the last three matchups, but Florida State has won 16 of the 22 all-time meetings...The Seminoles welcome Boston College next Saturday, while the Tigers host Duke.
11/08 21:21:52 ET