NC State came into this game determined to not let the running game of Clemson beat them. They wanted to make Trevor Lawrence beat them with his arm, and the true freshman gladly obliged. By the end of the 2nd quarter he had already thrown for 244 yards, picking apart the NC State defense with laser like precision, while helping guide the Tigers to a 24-0 lead. It was a perfect of example of taking what the defense is giving you.
The Clemson defense was once again dominant, holding NC State’s offense to just 101 total first half yards. The secondary had played lights out, helping to hold Ryan Finley to just 58 passing yards, and putting the Pack in a hole they would never crawl out of.
We pick it up at the start of the 3rd quarter. NC State won the toss and deferred, so they would receive the kickoff to start the 2nd half.
Clemson 24 NC State 0
1st & 10 NCST at Pack 25 15:00
NCST would start the half with what looked to be promising drive. After completions of 6,8, and 9 yards by Finley, along with a 15 yard facemask penalty, and a couple of short runs, the Pack had the ball 1st and 10 at the Tiger 30. Finley took a shot down the middle of the field trying to get his team on the board, but the pass was picked off by Jalen Williams at the 3 and returned 19 yards to the Tiger 22.
1st & 10 Clemson at Tiger 22, 10:58
After an incomplete pass to Hunter Renfrow, on a ball that had even a little to much on it for Mr Reliable, Lawrence would hit Tee Higgins on a quick out for 8, setting up a 3rd and 2. An IZ to Travis Etienne would only get a yard, and the Tigers go 3 & out.
1st & 10 NC State at Pack 31, 9:00
Reggie Gallaspy would lose 3 on 1st down, as Clelin Ferrell was there to meet him as soon as he took the handoff.
Finley then hit CJ Riley for a 9 yard completion on a quick slant, and on 3rd and 4 Finley tries to hit Jakobi Meyers down the seam, but Tanner Muse is there to break it up, forcing the punt.
Clemson Ball 1st & 10 at Tiger 17, 7:28
Second straight 3 & out for Trevor Lawrence and the offense. Feaster was stopped for no gain on 1st down, then Lawrence hits Diondre Overton on a hitch that picks up 8. On 3rd and 2 Lawrence tries to hit Feaster coming out of the backfield, but it was a little high and Feaster could not haul it in. Tigers punt.
NC State Ball 1st & 10 at Pack 27, 6:20
Ricky Person Jr picks up 3 on the 1st down run, and then is stopped for no gain on 2nd & 7. After an incompletion on a nice break up by Nolan Turner, NCST tries a fake punt that the Tiger D is well prepared for.
1st & 10 Clemson Ball on Pack 22. 5:06
It took 4 plays for the Tigers to make them pay. Etienne picked up 6 on an IZ on 1st down. He would get 2 more on 2nd down, and after a timeout, the Tigers were looking 3rd & 2. Lawrence would keep a zone read, roll out to his right, and hit Milan Richard for 13 yards, setting up 1st & Goal from the 1. And we all know who gets the ball at the 1. Etienne would get his 3rd rushing TD of the game, giving him 3 TDs in each of his last 3 games. The first Clemson Tiger to ever pull of that feat.
Clemson 31 NC State 0
NC State Ball at Pack 25, 3:54
The Pack would finally put a drive together, and as the quarter would end, they were knocking on the door. Finley would connect on 4 passes, including a 20 yarder to CJ Riley, and convert on a couple of 3rd downs, and as the quarter ended had a 1st & Goal at the Tiger 9 yard line.
Keep checking back with STS for more from the NCST win, including the 4th quarter review.