Travis Helps No. 4 Florida State Snap 7-Game Losing Streak To Clemson With 31-24 Overtime Victory

Florida State head coach Mike Norvell gives an interview after defeating Clemson during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)
Florida State head coach Mike Norvell gives an interview after defeating Clemson during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, in Clemson, S.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)
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CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Jordan Travis has spent too long hearing how No. 4 Florida State can't beat Clemson.

That's over now after Travis threw a picture-perfect touchdown pass in overtime to lift the Seminoles to a long-sought victory over the rival Tigers.

Keon Coleman caught the 24-yard TD pass from Travis in overtime and the Seminoles followed up with a defensive stand to snap a seven-game losing streak to Clemson with a 31-24 win that touched off a Death Valley celebration a decade in the making.

“I had tears coming down in the locker room,” said Travis, the sixth-year quarterback.

Florida State had has ceded its position as the ACC's power program to Clemson. Clemson had won seven of the past eight league crowns and national titles in 2016 and 2018.

Now, it looks like the Seminoles are ready to jump back into the top spot.

“We come here with that atmosphere and had adversity over the course of the game, all things you expect,” Florida State coach Mike Norvell said. “The end of this game, it was really special. The things I was most proud of, I told our players, was they put their heart on display.”

Travis also threw for another TD and ran for a score for the Seminoles (4-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who had not beaten Clemson (2-2, 0-2) since an overtime victory in 2014. He's now accounted for 82 touchdowns in his career to move past Chris Weinke as No. 1 in program history.

FSU linebacker Kalen DeLoach forced a fumble by Cade Klubnik and scooped it up for a 56-yard TD return to tie things at 24-all with 31 seconds left in the third quarter.

“I saw it,” DeLoach said. “And I did what I could do."

Florida State trailed by as much as 10 twice in the first half.

Clemson had a chance to take a late lead with 1:47 left in the fourth quarter, but Jonathan Weitz, a graduate student who left the team before the season only to return this week after the Tigers had issues in the kicking game, missed a 29-yard try wide left.

“When I hit it, I thought I hit it good," Weitz said. “When I looked up, it's dying left.”

Given another chance, Travis and the Seminoles would not fold. Travis lofted a high-arcing pass that Coleman caught in stride and hushed the raucous Death Valley crowd on the first extra possession.

Clemson couldn't get a first down on its possession when Klubnik’s fourth-and-2 pass sailed wide of the target and Florida State’s players sprinted to celebrate on the field where the program hadn’t won since 2013.

Clemson had only lost twice in 10 years at Death Valley since the Seminoles and quarterback Jameis Winston’s memorable, 51-14 beatdown of the Tigers in 2013.

Klubnik passed for 283 yards and a touchdown and ran for a score. But he had a fumble for the third time in four games, this one proving costly.

“We played our butt off,” Klubnik said. “We've just got to learn how to finish.”

The Tigers started No. 9 in the preseason rankings, slid down and eventually out of the poll after a 28-7 loss in Week 1 to unranked Duke. Three weeks of hearing their season was over obviously rankled the defending ACC champions and they had their most effective offensive showing this season.

But they bogged down late and after having a third-and-1 in overtime, couldn't get a yard to keep the game going.

Weitz had been Clemson's back-up kicker for four seasons, before calling it quits this year. He got a call from coach Dabo Swinney at his home in Charleston last Sunday, asking hime to rejoin the team, and returned Monday. Weitz had been working on a graduate degree online.

He got the Tigers' scoring started with a 30-yard field goal. He had made just three extra points in his four seasons with the team before pursuing a job in finance.

THE TAKEAWAY

Florida State: The Seminoles overcame perhaps their biggest ACC hurdle to supplant Clemson as the league heavyweight. If Florida State can continue to show the grit it displayed in raucous Death Valley, it will be a strong bet to be playing for its first ACC conference crown since 2014.

Clemson: The Tigers needed a win here to get themselves back in the ACC and College Football Playoff chase. Instead, they've got two losses in September for the second time in three seasons and will need conference chaos for any chance to play for a league title.

NO RESPECT

Travis said Clemson's choice of one-on-on coverage against Johnny Wilson and Keon Coleman got him angry. The two receivers combined for 10 catches and 180 yards with Coleman catching two TDs.

"I feel like we were disrespected all day. When you put one-on-one against Johnny Wilson and Keon Coleman, I feel like you have no respect for either the receivers or the quarterback.”

UP NEXT

Florida State has a week off, then starts a three-game homestand with Virginia Tech on Oct. 7.

Clemson travels to Syracuse on Saturday.

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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll