This Clemson team played what was probably their cleanest half of football in the first half against NC State Saturday night. They scored touchdowns on their first four possessions and on six of their seven first half possessions. They came out of the gate so fast that it felt like this game was over in the blink of the eye.
The second quarter begins with Clemson already up 28-0, thanks in part to two NCST turnovers that were both converted into touchdowns. For all intents and purposes, this one was already over. Instead of going through each and every play, we are going to go drive by drive, and highlight the high points.
We pick it up with the Wolfpack in the middle of a 9 play, 33 yard drive. When the quarter begins they are facing a 3rd & 11 from their own 36.
Clemson 28 NCST 0 15:00
- The Pack convert the 3rd down by getting a favorable matchup of WR Tabari Hines on James Skalski, and Skalski still almost made the play. NCST wouldn’t gain another yard though, and punt (9 plays 33 yards, 3:01).
- The Tigers go on a 9 play drive themselves, but manage only 39 yards before punting. If not for an offside penalty on 4th down it would’ve been a 3 & out. Tee Higgins has his second drop of the night on this drive as well (9 plays 39 yards, 4:24).
- The Pack go 3 & out after taking over at their own 28 (3 plays, 1 yard 1:39).
- Clemson starts at their own 26 and goes 74 yards in 7 plays. Travis Etienne has a big 26 yard run.
- Then he shows off those much improved hands on a 26 yard reception
- And big John Simpson finishes off out of the “Fridge Package” (7 plays, 74 yards 2:57).
Clemson 35 NCST 0 4:30
- Another 3 and out for the Wolfpack (3 plays, 1 yard 1:23).
- Another TD drive for the Tigers that gets started with a big Lyn-J Dixon run off a delayed draw on 1st down
- Three plays later Clemson faces 4th and 5 from midfield, and Trevor Lawrence finds Dixon for the big conversion. He loses the ball at the end but gets a fortunate bounce and recovers
- The very next play, a 33 yard laser to Justyn Ross (6 plays 70 yards, 2:22)
Clemson 42 NCST 0 0:45
- NCST goes 50 yards in 4 plays, highlighted by a Zonovan Knight 41 yard run, but would turn it over once more after driving to the Clemson 10. Xavier Thomas just shoves QB Devin Leary to the ground to get the recovery.
- The Tigers ran one play before time ran out in the 1st half.