As expected it was E.J. Manuel at the helm and the redshirt sophomore delivered with a quality performance(15-24 for 210 yards, 71 yards rushing). After a Xavier Rhodes interception, Manuel led the 'Noles on a 12 play, 85 yard drive early in the 4th quarter to take the lead 13-10; almost all the yardage on the ground.
A Clemson field goal tied the game at 13 with just under a minute to play; FSU took over at their own 29 yard line. After a solid 8 yard gain, a chop block penalty cost FSU 15 yards. Manuel rushed for one yard and it seemed as if the game was headed for overtime.
Head Coach Jimbo Fisher elected to call a timeout with 21 seconds remaining and a 2nd down at their own 30 (Clemson had two timeouts remaining). The risk paid off on the next play as the 'Noles drew a pass interference call. The next play Manuel hit Rodney Smith(4-121) on an 18 yard strike to the Clemson 37. That set the stage for the 55 yard attempt by Hopkins. He absolutely flushed it......just boomed it straight through for a huge 16-13 victory as time expired.
It goes without saying what Hopkins has went through the last week, this has to feel pretty sweet for the young man. The team should feel some weight off their shoulders as well. The Clemson game is always a physical ball game and this one was no different. This was a hard fought victory.
The win sets the stage for Florida State to potentially play for the ACC Championship. They will need to win next week at Maryland and have North Carolina State lose one of their next two conference games(UNC and Maryland). The loss eliminates all hope for Clemson, but you can bet the season will be quite a bit sweeter if they can defeat South Carolina in two weeks.