FSU football: Ranking the top defenses Noles will face in 2023

RALEIGH, NC - OCTOBER 08: Head coach Mike Norvell of the Florida State Seminoles speaks with Jordan Travis #13 during the first half of their game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Carter-Finley Stadium on October 8, 2022 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NC - OCTOBER 08: Head coach Mike Norvell of the Florida State Seminoles speaks with Jordan Travis #13 during the first half of their game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Carter-Finley Stadium on October 8, 2022 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

Clemson

  • 20.0 PPG
  • 5.03 YPP
  • 35.2 percent third down conversion allowed
  • 56.52 percent Red Zone TD percentage
  • No. 8 FEI

While Clemson saw some improvement offensively over the previous year, they took a step back in the first year without long-time defensive coordinator Brent Venables. They were stout in the trenches and among the nation’s best at generating sacks. However, their lost four defensive linemen to the NFL Draft and may not have the experience in the two deep they normally have.

The biggest difference in the FSU game was FSU’s inability to convert short-yardage on fourth down in Clemson territory twice, along with a costly turnover. While Clemson continues to stock-pile talent, I’m not sold on their defensive coordinator, nor are they recruiting at the level they were 2-3 years ago. This defense will be good, but I don’t think they’ll control FSU’s offense for large portions of the game like the past two years.