EJ Manuel keyed an offensive explosion, and the Florida State defense rebounded from a rocky first half to pull off a come-from-behind win over Clemson on Saturday. Here are five stats from the game that tell the story and offer some insight into where FSU goes from here.
11 for 11: That was Manuel's completions and attempts after Clemson scored on its first drive of the second half to open a 14-point lead. Manuel had been solid early, completing 16 of 24 passes for 192 yards in the first half and the first drive of the second, but he was brilliant down the stretch. His 11 straight completions went for 188 yards and two touchdowns. Manuel became the first FSU quarterback to throw for 300 yards and rush for 100 since Charlie Ward in 1992.
1,124: That's Florida State's rushing total through four games this season, after adding 287 more against Clemson on Saturday. That's just 334 yards shy of the Seminoles' total for the entirety of the 2011 season. A healthy Chris Thompson, who rushed for 103 yards and two touchdowns against Clemson, has been a key, but it's the marked improvement from Florida State's offensive line that has allowed the running game to flourish.
182: That's the total offense provided by Thompson, and it doesn't even include his 22-yard touchdown run that was called back by a hold in the third quarter. Thompson has 402 yards from scrimmage in his last two games, tops among all ACC players in conference. The senior, who missed the bulk of last season with a broken back, needs to average just 64 yards per game the rest of the season to become FSU's first 1,000-yard back since 1996.
12: That's the number of tackles for safety Terrence Brooks, a career high. While the tackle total is impressive, however, it came largely because Clemson picked on Brooks repeatedly in the passing game. Brooks was burned on a 60-yard touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins on Clemson's opening drive and he couldn't defend a throw to Brandon Ford on the Tigers' final touchdown either. Given the caliber of receivers Clemson has, it's not exactly an indictment that Brooks struggled in coverage, but it wouldn't be surprising to see the buzz to see more of talented sophomore Karlos Williams grow among fans moving forward.
3: That's the number of times Florida State's punt returners have put the ball on the ground so far this season. Rashad Greene's fumble in the first half ended up being overshadowed by Florida State's offensive outburst in the second half, but it's his second turnover on special teams this year. While Greene has also accounted for two touchdowns and largely filled the void left by the departed Greg Reid, fielding punts cleanly remains the top priority and, at this point, something of a concern for FSU.