Sightings as Clemson suffers painful loss at NC State



This is an early season game that ACC fans have been pointing the finger at since the schedule was announced. Clemson was coming out of their sixth consecutive conference championship, and NC State finished 2020 with an 8-4 record and returning a good mix of skill position players on offense and nine starters on defense. Would the Wolfpack become the team to knock the Tigers off the pedestal?

After Clemson, ranked No.2 in the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches preseason poll, produced no offensive excitement in a season opener loss to Georgia, and NC State the following week was humiliated at Mississippi State, today’s game at 3:30 p.m. (here’s how to watch) does not have the same buzz. But it could turn into a close match with late drama.

The now-No. 7 Tigers (2-1, including 1-0 at the ACC) have still not found a groove in attack, but their defense has not yet granted a touchdown. The NC State offense is averaging 455 yards and 34 points per game, and the Wolfpack are ranked No.3 in the ACC in total defense, although star linebacker Payton Wilson and defensive back Cyrus Fagan are out for the season due to injuries.

The buzz is not as strong, but there is still a lot at stake for both teams. Here are some of the topics covered before the game:

Know your enemy:Clemson, NC State Opponent of the Week Scout of the Week 4

â–º Five digits to know when Clemson football plays NC State

â–º NC State coach Dave Doeren facing Clemson, taking the Georgia Tech page

â–º Why NC State’s Devin Leary is having fun again could make the difference against Clemson

â–ºClemson has yet to show blocking depth up front as the offense spits

7:34 p.m. | A particularly costly defeat for Clemson football

Clemson’s dreams of a seventh straight college football playoff trip received a bucket of cold water to his face on Saturday night in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The Tigers, ranked No. 7 in the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaching Poll, lost 27-21 to the Wolfpack in two overtime. Clemson, who lost earlier to then-No. 3 Georgia in its first game, fell to 2-2. No two-losing team have reached CFP field in their first seven seasons.

It was Clemson’s first loss to an unranked team in 36 games, and she lost to a program that hadn’t beaten a Top 10 team since 2012.

The Tigers have also received some big blows to their roster. Linebacker James Skalski did not play in the second half after injuring his right shoulder, and defensive tackle Bryan Bresee injured his left knee early in the second half.

Then, in overtime, running back Will Shipley, the team’s best attacking player this season, took a knee and had to be helped off the field.

19:25 | North Carolina State upsets Clemson

Clemson failed to score in second overtime, missing a four-and-five assist in the end zone from DJ Uiagalelei to Justyn Ross.

The Tigers lost to an unranked team for the first time in 36 games to fall to 2-2, including 1-1 in the ACC.

19:16 | NC State takes the lead of the second OT

Devin Carter made a crooked, drooping reception of a Devin Leary pass into the end zone on the first game of second overtime for a 25-yard touchdown that gave NC State a 27-21 lead.

The mandatory two-point conversion play, a pass from Leary under pressure, was incomplete.

NC State 27, Clemson 21

7:13 pm | A second TO to come

Devin Leary threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Thayer Thomas on the third down to tie the game at 21 and send the game to second overtime.

19:06 | Clemson takes the head of the OT

Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei passed a 9-yard touchdown to Justyn Ross in overtime to give Clemson a 21-14 lead.

19:04 | Will Shipley goes down in OT

Clemson running back Will Shipley was injured as he blocked quarterback DJ Uiagalelei in overtime. His leg was inadvertently struck by a North Carolina state defenseman. He had to be helped off the pitch.

6:55 pm | Clemson, State of North Carolina, works overtime

Christopher Dunn missed his third consecutive field goal when time ran out, giving Clemson a chance for an overtime victory.

Dunn missed by 39 yards after missing two from over 50 yards.

18:38 | NC State misses opportunity to regain the lead

NC State responded to Clemson’s touchdown with a 41-yard drive on 34 yards from the Tigers, but Wolfpack kicker Christopher Dunn missed a 51-yard field goal. It was his second miss of the game after 50 years.

The score remains Clemson 14, NC State 14.

18:37 | Clemson’s defense takes another hit

Here’s the bad news about Bryan Bresee:

Clemson football’s Bryan Bresee, ACC freshman, injured against NC State

18:26 | Clemson equalizes the score

Clemson tied the score on a 5-yard touchdown run with 10:52 to go at the end of the game. The play forward, DJ Uiagalelei had a 37-yard run before being put out of bounds. His helmet came off, so he had to sit down for the next room. Taisun Phommachanh came in and passed the baton to Shipley, who cut the left tackle and remained intact for the score.

The drive covered 80 yards, 57 more than the Tigers had won in the second and third quarters behind.

6:16 p.m. | Distressed alert: Clemson drags after three quarters

After managing just 23 offensive yards combined in the second and third quarters, Clemson trailed NC State 14-7 at the start of the third quarter.

The Tigers have won eight straight games against the Wolfpack and coach Dabo Swinney is 10-1 against NC State.

Clemson linebacker Baylon Spector (10) and cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. (23) tackle NC State running back Zonovan Knight (7) on Saturday in Raleigh.

6:00 p.m. | Wolfpack takes the lead

With James Skalski on Bryan Bresee on the sidelines, the Clemson defense couldn’t keep the grips on the NC State offense.

Devin Leary passed Devin Carter 12 yards for a touchdown that gave the Wolfpack a 14-7 lead with 5:10 left in the third quarter. The score ended a nine-game practice, 77-7, and the 53,000 at Carter-Finley Stadium suddenly went hoarse.

NC State 14, Clemson 7

5:22 pm | Clemson worries about linebacker injury

Clemson entered the half with linebacker James Skalski with ice on his right shoulder. Here is the story :

Following:Clemson defensive leader James Skalski injured in NC State game

5:14 pm | The second quarter goes to the Wolfpack

Clemson had the best training of his season against an FCS opponent to take a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, but failed to capitalize on the momentum.

The Tigers kicked four straight possessions without getting a first down, then lost the ball on an interception of a downed pass. Clemson finished with an 8-yard total offense in the second quarter.

NC State was comparatively much better, at 65 yards, although Clemson’s defense prevented the Wolfpack from scoring. Christopher Dunn missed a 53-yard field goal attempt with 3 seconds left.

Halftime: Clemson 7, NC State 7.

4:38 pm | Clemson’s offensive retreats

Since his impressive five-game, 80-yard touchdown that gave him a 7-0 lead, Clemson’s offense has faltered.

The Tigers have scored three straight goals from three straight possessions, recording 3, 0 and -10 yards.

4:25 p.m. | Report the biggest issue of the first trimester

If there’s one area where both teams are lectured during the brief break between the first and second quarters, it’s likely penalties.

The teams combined for 10 penalties. NC State had six, most of which were due to his offense and preventing him from entering a stream. Clemson had only four, but two arrived on Wolfpack’s last practice when quarterback Devin Cleary drew the Tigers offside with some tough counts.

4:15 p.m. | Clemson’s defense gives up on first touchdown

Clemson’s defense missed 5 seconds to extend their touchdown play to 13 quarterbacks.

NC State scored with 5 seconds left in the first quarter on a 9-yard pass from Devin Leary to Emeka Emezie, and the PAT tied the score at 7. The Wolfpack ran for 54 yards in 10 games, helped by two penalties of Clemson offside.

End of Quarter 1: Clemson 7, NC State 7.

15:55 | DJ Uiagalelei shows some touch

The biggest concern with DJ Uiagalelei’s performance in Clemson’s first three games was his ability to make connections on deeper routes. He zipped passes that missed their targets.

On the Tigers’ second try, he showed better touch on the deeper roads.

He started possession with a 29-yard goal from Joseph Ngata, placing the ball over the shoulder of the sideline, away from two defenders and directly into Ngata’s hands.

He closed the series with a scramble rollout to the right, planted and pitched perfectly to Justyn Ross at the back of the end zone near the right goal post. Clemson 7, NC State 0

3:14 p.m. | Keep this remote handy

As it becomes the norm, the start of the Clemson match may not be shown on the scheduled channel.

The LSU-Mississippi State game that started at noon on ESPN has about 6 minutes remaining with 16 minutes remaining before the Clemson-NC State broadcast begins. Tigers lead, 28-17.

The bet here is that if the SEC game lags well past 3:30 p.m., the Clemson game will open on ESPNews, where no live programming is scheduled. It’s channel 300 on Spectrum, 207 on DirecTV, and 142 on Dish.

3pm | Tigers that won’t play today

There are no surprises on the list of Clemson players that will not be available today:

â–ºCurrent back Lyn-J Dixon announced this week he entered the transfer portal;

For subscribers:Here are all the football players who transferred from Clemson to the Portal Age

â–º Defensive tackle Tyler Davis is out for probably eight weeks after being injured in the game against Georgia Tech;

â–ºDefensive return Fred Davis was benched as part of “internal discipline” after being charged with reckless driving in a car crash in July.


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