Sept. 19, 2013
Final Stats |
RALEIGH, N.C. - The NC State football team held No. 3 Clemson to its lowest scoring output over its past 10 ACC games, but could not pull off the Thursday night upset, falling to the Tigers 26-14 before a sold-out crowd of 57,583 at Carter-Finley Stadium.
The NC State defense held the Tigers to season-lows in points, total yards, passing yards and rushing yards, turning in a superb defensive effort over four quarters of play. Clemson was held 19 points shy of its season average by the Pack's defense which record 13 tackles for loss on the evening.
Wolfpack quarterback Pete Thomas completed 20-of-36 passes for 213 yards, while also running for a score, the first of his NC State career. The Pack gained 165 yards on the ground, with seven players contributing to the running total.
Senior middle linebacker Robert Caldwell led State with 13 tackles, including four tackles for a loss, while Dontae Johnson added 11 tackles. D.J. Green and Hakim Jones each added 10 tackles for the Wolfpack defense.
"It was a hard fought game," said NC State head coach Dave Doeren. "I thought our players competed hard. I'm proud of the way they competed tonight. I'm disappointed on the amount of penalties we had, but that is something we will work on and improve. Clemson is a very good football team."
With Clemson holding a 13-7 lead at the 7:43 juncture of the third quarter, NC State took over at its own 17-yard line. On the first play of the drive, Wolfpack wide receiver Bryan Underwood took a jet sweep around right end for what appeared to be an 83-yard touchdown. However, it was deemed Underwood stepped out of bounds at the 49-yard line, giving him a 32-yard gain on the play.
From there State was not able to capitalize, ultimately giving the ball back to Clemson three plays later on a fumble. On the ensuing Tiger possession, Clemson needed five plays to move 48 yards before putting the ball in the end zone on a 30-yard Tajh Boyd to Martavis Bryant pass.
Following the Clemson score, State moved the ball 45 yards on 10 plays, but could not finish the drive as Niklas Sade's 48-yard field goal missed wide right.
The Tigers added another Boyd to Bryant score, this time from 15-yards out, to complete the scoring on the night.
After receiving the opening kickoff of the game, Clemson moved 43 yards on 14 plays before ultimately settling for a 49-yard field goal to take an early 3-0 lead. The Tigers would add another field goal four possessions later to push the advantage to 6-0 before NC State answered with an emphatic touchdown to wrestle the lead back.
Shadrach Thornton scampered into the end zone from 21 yards out to cap off a seven-play, 92-yard drive that gave the Wolfpack a 7-6 lead. Thornton also added a 32-yard reception on the second play of the drive, accounting for 53 total yards on the scoring march.
Clemson would add a touchdown right before the half, to take a 13-7 lead into the locker room.
NC State hosts Central Michigan in its next game, scheduled for Sept. 28. Kickoff for Parents & Families day at Carter-Finley Stadium is set for 3:30 p.m. and will be broadcast by ESPN3.