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FSU team finally coming together in time to play Clemson

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For most of the football season, the FSU football team was giving out reasons why it couldn’t complete.

The quarterback was too young. The running back was too hurt. The defense was too weak.

Now, with two weeks to go before the Tigers come town, the Seminoles have suddenly taken on the look of a team that has a chance.

The quarterback, Deondre Francois, has proven to be a tough competitor, although coach Jimbo Fisher winces with all the hits he takes. The running back, Dalvin Cook, is chewing up yardage again.

And the defense?

Suddenly, it is playing hard, aggressive football.

Perhaps it started against Miami, when FSU held the ’Canes to less than 300 yards. Perhaps it was validated in a 17-6 win over Wake Forest. But suddenly, the defense looks as if it can do more than chase Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson.

“They played great today,” Fisher said. “Controlled the line of scrimmage. … I’m very proud of them. Man, you talk about the situations they got put in today? Man, they played their tails off.”

Oh, Clemson will still be favored. But for the first time all season, it wouldn’t stun people if FSU won.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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