CLEMSON, S.C. -- The Atlantic Coast Conference just might have a national championship contender after all.
On a rare night in the spotlight for a league starved for football success, No. 5 Florida State stole the show, becoming the first opposing team to score 50 points at Clemson's Memorial Stadium in a lopsided 51-14 victory over the third-ranked Tigers on Saturday night.
The game was billed as a matchup between the ACC's top two programs, each with a Heisman Trophy contender at quarterback, a high-scoring offense and a stout defense.
The Seminoles, though, topped the Tigers in just about every aspect of a game that was hyped for a week and punctuated by a visit from ESPN's College Gameday.
By the time it was over, and most of the 83,428 at Death Valley had cleared out -- save for the healthy contingent of FSU fans that had spilled into the stadium's lower level -- Jimbo Fisher and Co. were answering questions about whether or not the Seminoles were the best team in the country.
"I'll let y'all decide that," Fisher said. "If we keep playing and keep taking care of our business, the country will see and we'll get to where we need to go."
Rashad Greene, whose two receiving touchdowns helped spark the blowout, wasn't quite so modest.
"We're definitely the best team in the country," he said.
Greene and his teammates certainly made a compelling argument. With most of the college football world wondering how he'd handle his first taste of a truly hostile road environment, FSU's Jameis Winston outdueled counterpart Tajh Boyd with four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing) and a career-high 444 passing yards.
Meanwhile, the Florida State defense forced four Clemson turnovers, including two interceptions and a fumble recovery at Boyd's expense.
The Clemson fifth-year senior finished just 17-of-37 passing for 156 yards and one touchdown.
"I just didn't play the way I was capable," Boyd said. "As a leader, it's my job to go out and lead and perform and I just didn't do that tonight."
Clemson's 14 points scored were its fewest in an ACC game since 2011.
"When you're going against a team as good as Florida State, you don't have very much room for error," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. "We fumbled in the beginning, had a busted play, fumbled again and, before you know it, it's 17-0.
"When you spot a team that good 17 points, it's a huge uphill climb."
Florida State cornerback Lamarcus Joyner forced a fumble on Clemson's first play from scrimmage, knocked the ball out of Boyd's hands later in the first quarter and grabbed an interception in the third quarter.
The Seminoles, who entered the game ranked seventh nationally in total defense, limited the Tigers to 326 yards of total offense, well below their season average of 514.5.
"Lamarcus is like the energizer bunny," Fisher said. "He's a heck of a football player. I'm glad he's on my side, I know that."
Greene had eight catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns and tight end Nick O'Leary added a career-best 161 receiving yards, including a 94-yarder in which he was dragged down at the Clemson 1-yard line.
The Clemson defense held the Seminoles to a field goal on that drive but couldn't do much to slow down FSU the rest of the way.
Clemson, which entered the game with the most sacks of any team in the country, got to Winston just three times. Junior Vic Beasley, the nation's individual sack leader, was neutralized with just two tackles.
"We have to put this game behind us and move on," Swinney said. "When Monday morning rolls around, Maryland is going to be the biggest game of the year."
Winston threw two first-half touchdown passes and Joyner forced three Clemson turnovers on the way to a 27-7 halftime lead.
Joyner, a senior defensive back, caused two fumbles -- including one on the first play from scrimmage -- and picked off Boyd late in the second quarter. Florida State converted those turnovers into 17 points.
FSU defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. picked up a Boyd fumble and returned it 37 yards to give the Seminoles a 17-0 advantage that silenced a Clemson crowd hoping to break the world record for decibel-level at a football game.
"When we were on the field for the first snap, it was loud and we started smiling," Winston said. "And I said, 'Guys, we don't play against noise. We play against the Clemson Tigers.' And we played our hearts out."
Winston answered the bell with a 14-of-22, 242-yard passing effort in the first half that featured the two scores and also an interception. His 72-yard catch-and-run touchdown pass to Greene capped a four-play, 95-yard drive.
Boyd, meanwhile, often looked out of sync with his receivers and completed just 11 of his 24 attempts for 99 yards. His 3-yard touchdown pass to Sammy Watkins, in which Watkins had to make a falling, acrobatic catch in the end zone, gave the Tigers their only points of the first half.
NOTES: Florida State snapped a five-game losing streak at Clemson. The Seminoles last won here in 2001. ... Clemson saw its run of 11 straight victories in ACC games end. It was the longest such streak in the nation. ... FSU has scored on its final drive of the second quarter and first drive of the third quarter in all six games this season. ... Winston's 22-yard touchdown pass to Benjamin marked the first points Clemson had allowed off a turnover this season. The Tigers had previously outscored their opponents 56-0 after a turnover. ... Greene has caught a pass in 29 of his 30 career games.