Clemson score vs NC State takeaways: Wolfpack is upset in 2OT as No.9 Tigers remain in dire straits


No.9 Clemson has survived numerous close calls against ACC opponents in recent years. Somehow, he consistently came up with the winning games at key times to preserve a dynasty that has totaled six consecutive conference championships. Now the Tigers sit behind NC State for the ACC Atlantic top spot after the Wolfpack bounced the defending college football playoff photo champions with a 27-21 win on Saturday in Raleigh, Carolina. North.

NC State rallied in overtime after missing a potential 39-yard field goal at the end of regulation, securing the win with a touchdown pass from Devin Leary to Devin Carter in the first possession of a double overtime.

This is Clemson’s first loss to an unranked team since 2017, ending a 36-win streak of this type. It is also just the Tigers’ fourth loss to the ACC since the start of the 2015 season.

A narrow victory over Georgia Tech in Week 3 seemed to confirm concern over whether Clemson was able to be the overwhelming ACC favorite that has become the expectation. Saturday afternoon in Raleigh only doubled those concerns.

Now the Tigers have been kicked out of the driver’s seat.

Clemson’s offense struggled for the third game in a row against an FBS opponent, overcoming the success of a few splash games for points he was able to put on the scoreboard. The Tigers defense played very well on a top down basis, but there was little they could do when NC State continually started out with a good position on the pitch following ineffective commands from Clemson.

Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei finished the game with just 111 yards on 12 of 24 passes with two touchdowns and one interception, and Clemson as a team had just 214 yards of offense against NC’s 386. State.

For NC State, it’s the first win against a Top 10 team since 2012, and it’s easily the biggest win of the Dave Doeren era. Under his leadership, the Wolfpack came close to taking out Dabo Swinney’s Tigers, including an overtime loss to Death Valley in 2016. On Saturday, he finally claimed his tenure in North Carolina state.

Three things to note about winning and what it means going forward:

1. Injury is also a problem for Clemson

The Tigers were already skinny in some groups of positions before the game, but now things could be dire after significant attrition in the loss. Veteran linebacker James Skalski was eliminated from the game in the first half with a shoulder injury and star defensive tackle Bryan Bresee left in the third quarter. Running back Will Shipley, just days after coming out of crowded competition as the team’s new starter, left the game in overtime with a worrying leg injury.

Even before the start of the season, a few offensive line injuries left this squad thin in a way that made Clemson rely heavily on his five starters, and this week we found out that starting defensive tackle Tyler Davis will miss 7-8 weeks due to a bicep injury that required surgery. If Shipley’s injury is serious it makes veteran running back Lyn-J Dixon’s midseason transfer all the more impactful and life becomes even more difficult for DJ Uiagalalei as it’s all about getting on the offensive. on the right track.

2. No quarterback controversy for Clemson

Swinney was asked if the staff would consider replacing Uiagalelei after a third consecutive wrestling match against an FBS opponent. Swinney said there was “nothing you wouldn’t rate” after a result like this, but “I think DJ is our quarterback.”

The fact that Clemson is going to stick to his old five-star prospect and not go to the substitute who suffered an Achilles tear in the spring game, or the former substitute who completes the quarterback’s room, is no surprise. But what was telling was the quote that followed. Swinney noted that the last time his offense was struggling to be executed as this group was “2010, maybe”.

It was Dabo Swinney’s second full season as a head coach and the last year before he hired Chad Morris, leading to the program’s first ACC title in 20 years. Since 2011, there has been a standard for Clemson’s offense, and although Uiagalelei remains the starter, he must play an important role in changing fortunes for a group that has fallen short of expectations.

3. Overcome the “NC state stuff”

There’s a saying around Raleigh about NC State… “stuff”. The repeated act of being heartbroken over and over again creates both an insensitivity and a level of existential dread that exists at all times within the fanbase. NC State dominated Clemson for most of the game, but the fact that they couldn’t fend off the Tigers, especially with that field goal attempt at the end of settlement, left an agonizing tension at Carter-Finley Stadium. .

Devin Leary’s response to the winning pass changed the course of fate for a program that has failed all too often in these places during Doeren’s nine-year tenure. Prior to this victory, the list of the 25 best wins was highlighted by a victory over Notre Dame in the middle of a real hurricane in 2016, as well as last year’s rock-fight victory over Liberty. Beating Clemson ticks so many boxes for Doeren and this program, that he has worked so hard to bring them up to standards to be a contender in the hyper-competitive ACC Atlantic.

As we rotate the schedule from September to October, the Wolfpack sit first in the division with a head-to-head victory over the second-best team in the race. Now that NC State has moved down to the driver’s seat, we can see how he behaves with his hands on the wheel.

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