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No. 21 Tigers happy with recent play

The Tigers are becoming masters of the turnaround.

Clemson was 88th in total offense last season. So far this season, Clemson ranks ninth in the nation in total offense.

Clemson has not led a single game at halftime this season, yet enjoys a 3-0 record entering Saturday's 3:30 p.m. showdown against No. 14 Florida State (ESPN) at Memorial Stadium.

Several days ago, many wondered if Clemson, coming off a six-win season and struggling early in the year, had the confidence to knock off the defending champs. After snapping Auburn's 17-game winning streak, No. 21 Clemson entered the Associated Press poll Sunday and Dabo Swinney was asked if he has to guard against his team becoming overconfident.

"I don't think it's hard when you have Florida State and looking at (their talent)," Swinney said. "Maybe if you are playing nonconference team or something like that (following Auburn) ... but Florida State is a big rivalry game for us, a big game for our players. I don't think it will be hard at all."

On paper the Seminoles (2-1) wouldn't seem a team that was hard to remind the Tigers to focus on. Florida State was tabbed as the overwhelming preseason favorite in the ACC.

But Florida State is coming off a loss to No. 1 Oklahoma in which starting quarterback E.J. Manuel left the game and was unable to return after an injury to his non-throwing shoulder. Manuel was replaced by 6-foot-2, 180-pound freshman quarterback Clint Trickett, who is not the dual-threat athlete Manuel is. Trickett completed 7 of 15 passes for 135 yards against the Sooners.

"I'd be surprised if we don't see Manuel," Swinney said.

Despite coming off the third-highest yardage total in program history against Auburn (624 yards), Swinney said the Tigers left yards out on the field and missed opportunities the coaching can use to refocus the team in practice this week.

"We just have to keep improving each week," Swinney said, "and see what happens at end of the season."

Extra points

Swinney said he is "hopeful" starting left guard David Smith (shoulder) and starting running back Andre Ellington (hamstring) will be able to play against Florida State. Swinney said Smith remains "more questionable" after undergoing shoulder surgery Thursday. ... Ellington "tweaked" his hamstring in the second half vs. Auburn ... Freshman WR Charone Peake suffered an AC sprain and is questionable. ... WR/KR Joe Craig returns from his three-game suspension this week but Swinney said he will not practice Tuesday and Wednesday due to a family-related matter.

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