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Paws Up, Paws Down: Tigers Spoil Homecoming For Wolfpack

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Clemson goes into Raleigh and puts on a first half show

Clemson v North Carolina State Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

It is fair to say that most of us saw this one coming. There was no doubt that being left out of the top four of the initial CFP Rankings left a sour taste in the mouths of everyone involved with the Clemson football program. This team was going to be looking to make a statement, and make one they did.

The Tigers led 28-0 before the first quarter had even ended. They made NC State pay dearly for two early fumbles by converting both into touchdowns. Clemson went on to win 55-10, and clinched the Atlantic Division by virtue of Wake Forest’s loss in Blacksburg.

Offense

This offense is rolling now. That first half was about as clean as it gets. The Tigers did not have a turnover for the third straight game, and that hasn’t been done since 2010. They have scored at least 50 points in three straight for the first time since 2013. The 549 yards of total offense gives them their fifth consecutive game with at least 500 yards..... Paws Up

Defense

The Tigers still have not allowed an opponent to hit the 300 yard mark this season. The Wolfpack had 290 in this one and if not for a late muffed punt by Tabari Hines, they probably break the streak. Most of that yardage came in the 2nd half after the mass substitutions though. At halftime, the Wolfpack had managed just 88 yards of offense, with only 26 coming on the ground..... Paws Up

4th Downs

The Tigers went for it on fourth down three times, and converted on all three. Each came after the team was already up big. The last one came on the final drive after the Hines muffed punt. The fact that it happened against this team..... Paws Up

Trevor Lawrence

Lawrence is dialed in and that is bad news for the rest of college football..... Paws Up

Travis Etienne

ETN had 112 yards and averaged 8 yards per carry. It was his 5th straight 100 yard game. He also had 3 TDs. The first pushed him past CJ Spiller as the schools all time leader in TDs scored with 54 and the second puts him tied with Lamar Jackson for most rushing TDs in the ACC (50). He needs just three more to pass James Conner’s record of 52..... Paws Up

Offensive Line

This group has played well over the last several weeks. They gave Lawrence all the time he needed last night..... Paws Up

James Skalski

Skalski has really come on down the stretch. He rarely seems to get caught out of position and has taken over one of those leadership roles on the defensive side. However, has to make those PAT’s though..... Paws Up

Jumbo Package

Logan Rudolph and Tyler Davis were up front blocking, with Nyles Pinckney as the FB. John Simpson was the tailback and he punched it in from one yard out. More of this please..... Paws Up

Cade Stewart

As the backup to Sean Pollard at center, he has to be better with his snaps..... Paws Down

Penalties

The Tigers had 10 penalties for 75 yards. That has to get cleaned up..... Paws Down

And in other action.....

Penn State

The Nittany Lions got exposed. Minnesota totally outclassed Penn State. The CFP committee is getting exactly what they deserve after trying to manufacture top four matcups in the regular season..... Paws Down

Alabama

Speaking of outclassed, that is exactly what happened with the Tide in their loss to LSU. Facing a 33-13 deficit at halftime, Bama tried to come back, but would fall just short in a 46-41 loss. They got a late TD that made it look a little closer than it should have been though. The two teams combined for 1000 yards of offense. Those SEC defenses were on full display..... Paws Down

Wake Forest

All the Deacs had to do was win. A win over Virginia Tech in Blacksburg might have gotten them into the Top 15, setting up a matchup of ranked teams in Clemson next weekend. The Hokie defense was having none of it, however. Wake had one of its worst offensive showings of the season against a motivated Va Tech team. Bud Fosters defense completely took their running game away and forced Wake QB Jamie Newman to beat them with his arm. The plan worked, as Newman was just 16-35 and was picked off twice..... Paws Down

App State

The Mountaineers rolled in to Williams Brice Stadium on Saturday night and came away with a big win over our feathered friends in Columbia, despite having barely 200 yards of offense. It was the App State defense that got it done, holding UofSC to just 21 yards rushing on 27 attempts. Midway through the 4th quarter there seemed to be more App State fans in the stadium than there were Gamecock fans. It just means more..... Paws Way Up