FSU football: What I’m looking for in the Clemson game

FSU football will look to avoid getting blown out for the third straight game.

FSU football will enter its Saturday afternoon game against Clemson as five-touchdown underdogs.

It’s the largest betting spread for the Noles at home that I can ever remember. It’s a game they have absolutely no shot of winning, so you may ask why I’m still interested in watching.

Well, I get paid to cover the games, that helps, but I’m interested in watching this program from the ground up.

I feel like I’ve seen the Phoenix rise from the ashes once during the transition from Bobby Bowden to Jimbo Fisher.

Granted, this version of FSU’s Phoenix is likely a taller order than that rebirth. However, the climb back to the top will begin with minuscule sparks of fire that will eventually transform into a full burning flame.

What are those minuscule sparks? One would be not beating oneself with dumb penalties, playing together, making the routine plays.

Listen, FSU football is outmanned and less-talented than Clemson. There’s no shame in denying that, and if the guys go out and lose by 40 points without turning the ball over and beating themselves?

I can live with that. That tells me the biggest issue is the talent gap between the two teams. I want to see the FSU players playing with a passion and fire like it’s their last game they’ll ever play.

No, not the flexing after giving up a 25-yard pass. I’m not looking for the dumb and immature stuff when they’re losing by two touchdowns.

I want to see guys swarming to the ball on defense. I want to see guys playing for one another and feeding off one another’s play when they do good things. I want to see who really wants to be out there on the field.

I’m watching Saturday, so when this program is good again, I will never take it for granted, ever.