Tigers hammer Pack, now just one win from ACC Championship


by - Senior Writer -
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Michael Palmer hauls a touchdown pass in at the back of the end zone.

RALEIGH, N.C. – A December the 5th date in Tampa grows ever closer
for the Clemson Tigers.

The Tigers amassed 454 yards of total offense and C.J. Spiller
continued to set records as the 24th-ranked Tigers thumped the North
Carolina State Wolfpack 43-23 at Carter-Finley Stadium Saturday
afternoon.

The win over the Wolfpack (4-6 overall, 1-5 ACC) means the Tigers
(7-3, 5-2), can clinch a berth in the ACC Championship game in Tampa
against Georgia Tech with a win next weekend against Virginia, or a
Boston College loss [Boston College plays Virginia this afternoon.]

”It was a great team win,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said.
“It was a game where we picked each other up. But it is like we told
the guys, we haven’t won anything yet. We haven’t accomplished
anything. We could go out and lose next week, and all of this could go
out the window.”

The Tigers were able to pick up 254 rushing yards on 36 carries,
and once again were able to dominate in the fourth quarter, despite
the loss of guard Thomas Austin to an ankle injury in the fourth
quarter. Clemson also committed seven penalties for 79 yards, and
missed two more extra points, but were still able to overwhelm the
Wolfpack.

“I was disappointed with the penalties we had, but we’ll focus on
that and get better before next week,” Swinney said. “I thought the
offense kept answering every time N.C. State scored. We ran the ball
with authority. Kyle [Parker] did a good job of putting the ball in
the hands of our receivers and moving the ball down the field.

“I thought we did a good job of running the ball. That’s what
football is all about. If you can control the line of scrimmage – I
don’t care who you are – you’re going to win games. We rushed for 254
yards today, but we also passed for 200 yards. So we were pretty
balanced.”

The Tigers used their second drive of the game to get on the
scoreboard, a 30-yard run by Spiller setting up a 28-yard, knuckleball
field goal by Spencer Benton, and the Tigers had a 3-0 lead with 6:04
remaining in the first quarter.

Clemson’s third drive was set up by a Byron Maxwell interception,
and Kyle Parker completed two key third downs on the ensuing drive, one
for 17 yards to Xavier Dye and one for 22 yards to Michael Palmer.
Jacoby Ford capped the drive with a 17-yard touchdown run over the
left side, and Clemson led 10-0 early in the second quarter.

A six-yard punt set up the Tigers at the Wolfpack 17-yard line on
their third drive, and the Tigers wasted no time in scoring when
Spiller rolled out right and hit a wide-open Xavier Dye in the end
zone for a 17-0 Clemson lead.

With the scoring pass, Spiller became the first player in Clemson
history to account for a score in five different ways: pass, pass
reception, rush, kick return and punt return.

The Wolfpack responded on their next drive, with the Tigers helping
out with two critical third down penalties, and Pack quarterback
Russell Wilson capped the 12-play drive with an 18-yard touchdown pass
to Koyal George.

Parker completed a third-down pass to Jacoby Ford, this one that
covered 47 yards, setting up a five-yard scoring strike from Parker to
Palmer with 4:09 remaining in the first half. Palmer caught the bullet
at the back of the end zone, and managed to get a foot down before
falling down out of bounds. The play was reviewed by the booth, and
the catch was confirmed for a 24-7 Clemson lead.

Parker, who finished 12-for-18 for 183 yards and two touchdowns,
said the Tigers’ execution was the key in the first half, especially
on third down.

” I think early in the game, when you have plays like Palmer’s and
Dye’s, it really wears on their defense,” Parker said. “We completed a
lot of passes, and we protected well, didn’t turn the ball over, and I
thought we were very efficient. We did a good job of staying on
schedule, and not having many negative plays.”

The Wolfpack’s opening possession of the second half also saw
Clemson penalties keep the drive alive, including two personal foul
penalties, and Wilson hit Jarvis Williams from eight yards out for the
touchdown, and Clemson held a 24-14 lead early in the third quarter.

Clemson continued to gash the Wolfpack defense on its first drive
of the second half, but a controversial call on second down at the
Wolfpack 22-yard line kept the drive alive. Andre Ellington appeared
to fumble on the play, and N.C. State challenged the ruling, but the
call on the field was upheld and Clemson retained possession. Two
plays later, Spiller bounced around the left side for a 16-yard
touchdown run, and the missed extra point gave Clemson a 30-14 lead.

On the play, Spiller set a new Clemson record for all-purpose yards
in a season, giving him 1,890 for the year, breaking the record that
Derrick Hamilton set in 2002 when he had 1,883 yards.


The Pack kicked an early fourth quarter field goal to trim
Clemson’s lead to 13 at 30-17, but the Tigers put together a 77-yard
drive in response. Clemson drove down to the N.C. State 34-yard line,
and on first down, the Tigers brought Ellington in motion into the
backfield, and Parker faked the handoff to Ellington while Spiller
broke free into the secondary.

Parker hit Spiller at around the 15-yard line, and the wide-open
senior almost walked into the end zone for the 34-yard touchdown and a
36-17 Tiger lead. On the play, Spiller became the first player in
Clemson history to throw for a touchdown, catch a touchdown pass, and
rush for a touchdown in the same game.

Jamie Harper effectively sealed the win with an electric 69-yard
touchdown run late in the fourth quarter, and a late N.C. State
touchdown accounted for the final of 43-23.

Spiller said he was happy with his own stats, but the team always
comes first.

”This was a great team win, but we left a lot on the field today,”
Spiller said. “The big thing is, we came one step closer to going down
to Tampa. I just went out and tried to play. I knew what they were
going to do against me, and I tried to pick it up and help my team
out. But this isn’t going to get any easier. Virginia will come in
next week ready to play. But we have our eyes on the prize, and there
is another hurdle we have to overcome next week.”


Date: Nov 14, 2009  Site: Raleigh, N.C.         Stadium: CarterFinley Stadium
Attendance: 57583

Score by Quarters     1  2  3  4   Score
-----------------    -- -- -- --   -----
Clemson.............  3 21  6 13  - 43
NC State............  0  7  7  9  - 23



Scoring Summary:
1st 06:04 CU - Spencer Benton 28 yd field goal
                                                   9 plays, 48 yards, TOP 3:18, CU 3 - NCS 0
2nd 14:29 CU - Jacoby Ford 17 yd run (Spencer Benton kick)
                                                  9 plays, 75 yards, TOP 3:55, CU 10 - NCS 0
    12:48 CU - Xavier Dye 17 yd pass from C.J. Spiller (Spencer Benton kick)
                                                   1 play, 17 yards, TOP 0:06, CU 17 - NCS 0
    06:42 NCS - George,K. 18 yd pass from Wilson,R. (Czajkowski,J. kick)
                                                 12 plays, 80 yards, TOP 5:59, CU 17 - NCS 7
    04:09 CU - Michael Palmer 5 yd pass from Kyle Parker (Spencer Benton kick)
                                                  6 plays, 57 yards, TOP 2:28, CU 24 - NCS 7
3rd 11:08 NCS - Williams,Ja. 8 yd pass from Wilson,R. (Czajkowski,J. kick)
                                                 9 plays, 75 yards, TOP 3:45, CU 24 - NCS 14
    07:56 CU - C.J. Spiller 16 yd run (Spencer Benton kick failed)
                                                 7 plays, 60 yards, TOP 3:12, CU 30 - NCS 14
4th 13:55 NCS - Czajkowski,J. 26 yd field goal
                                                 7 plays, 29 yards, TOP 3:01, CU 30 - NCS 17
    10:05 CU - C.J. Spiller 34 yd pass from Kyle Parker (Spencer Benton kick failed)
                                                 7 plays, 77 yards, TOP 3:44, CU 36 - NCS 17
    08:42 CU - Jamie Harper 69 yd run (Richard Jackson kick)
                                                  1 play, 69 yards, TOP 0:10, CU 43 - NCS 17
    00:03 NCS - Williams,Ja. 2 yd pass from Glennon,M. (Glennon,M. pass failed)
                                                 7 plays, 56 yards, TOP 0:53, CU 43 - NCS 23

Kickoff time: 12:08     End of Game: 3:24      Total elapsed time: 3:16
Officials: Referee: Tom McCreesh; Umpire: Mike Wooten; Linesman: John Busch;
Line judge: Thurm Hardison; Back judge: Tommy Pace; Field judge: Milton Hagans;
Side judge: Daryl Harrison; Scorer: Roger Warren;
Temperature: 60        Wind: NNW 10    Weather: Morning Clouds

Team Statistics 

                                     CU      NCS

FIRST DOWNS...................       20       26
  Rushing.....................       10        9
  Passing.....................       10       11
  Penalty.....................        0        6
NET YARDS RUSHING.............      254      138
  Rushing Attempts............       36       41
  Average Per Rush............      7.1      3.4
  Rushing Touchdowns..........        3        0
  Yards Gained Rushing........      263      159
  Yards Lost Rushing..........        9       21
NET YARDS PASSING.............      200      239
  Completions-Attempts-Int....  13-19-0  16-39-1
  Average Per Attempt.........     10.5      6.1
  Average Per Completion......     15.4     14.9
  Passing Touchdowns..........        3        3
TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS...........      454      377
  Total offense plays.........       55       80
  Average Gain Per Play.......      8.3      4.7
Fumbles: Number-Lost..........      2-0      0-0
Penalties: Number-Yards.......     7-79     6-42
PUNTS-YARDS...................    3-112    5-150
  Average Yards Per Punt......     37.3     30.0
  Net Yards Per Punt..........     35.7     30.0
  Inside 20...................        1        2
  50+ Yards...................        0        0
  Touchbacks..................        0        0
  Fair catch..................        2        1
KICKOFFS-YARDS................    8-529    4-168
  Average Yards Per Kickoff...     66.1     42.0
  Net Yards Per Kickoff.......     47.8     36.2
  Touchbacks..................        2        0
Punt returns: Number-Yards-TD.    0-0-0    1-5-0
  Average Per Return..........      0.0      5.0
Kickoff returns: Number-Yds-TD   3-23-0  6-107-0
  Average Per Return..........      7.7     17.8
Interceptions: Number-Yds-TD..    1-0-0    0-0-0
Fumble Returns: Number-Yds-TD.    0-0-0    0-0-0
Miscellaneous Yards...........        0        0
Possession Time...............    26:47    33:13
  1st Quarter.................     9:29     5:31
  2nd Quarter.................     4:39    10:21
  3rd Quarter.................     5:03     9:57
  4th Quarter.................     7:36     7:24
Third-Down Conversions........  6 of 10  7 of 15
Fourth-Down Conversions.......   0 of 0   0 of 1
Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......      5-5      4-5
Sacks By: Number-Yards........     2-10      0-0
PAT Kicks.....................      4-6      2-2
Field Goals...................      1-1      1-1

Individual Statistics 

Clemson

Rushing              No Gain Loss  Net TD Lg  Avg
-------------------------------------------------
C.J. Spiller         18  101    4   97  1 30  5.4
Jamie Harper          4   86    0   86  1 69 21.5
Andre Ellington       7   31    0   31  0  8  4.4
Kyle Parker           3   21    0   21  0 13  7.0
Jacoby Ford           1   17    0   17  1 17 17.0
Willy Korn            3    7    5    2  0  7  0.7
Totals...            36  263    9  254  3 69  7.1

Passing              Cmp-Att-Int Yds TD Long Sack
-------------------------------------------------
Kyle Parker            12-18-0   183  2   47    0
C.J. Spiller            1-1-0     17  1   17    0
Totals...              13-19-0   200  3   47    0

Receiving             No.  Yds   TD Long
----------------------------------------
Michael Palmer          4   50    1   22
C.J. Spiller            3   48    1   34
Jacoby Ford             2   55    0   47
Xavier Dye              2   34    1   17
Terrance Ashe           1    9    0    9
Jamie Harper            1    4    0    4
Totals...              13  200    3   47

Punting               No.  Yds   Avg Long In20   TB
---------------------------------------------------
Dawson Zimmerman        3  112  37.3   40    1    0
Totals...               3  112  37.3   40    1    0

                       Punts   Kickoffs  Intercept
All Returns          No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg
--------------------------------------------------
C.J. Spiller          0   0  0  1  13 13  0   0  0
Byron Maxwell         0   0  0  0   0  0  1   0  0
Kasey Nobles          0   0  0  2  10 11  0   0  0
Totals...             0   0  0  3  23 13  1   0  0

Field goal attempts
----------------------------------------
Spencer Benton       1st 06:04  28 yds - Good

Kickoffs         No.  Yds  TB  OB   Avg
---------------------------------------
Benton, S          8  529   2   0  66.1

NC State

Rushing              No Gain Loss  Net TD Lg  Avg
-------------------------------------------------
Baker,T.             19   76    0   76  0 10  4.0
Eugene,J.            15   48   11   37  0 11  2.5
Wilson,R.             7   35   10   25  0 12  3.6
Totals...            41  159   21  138  0 12  3.4

Passing              Cmp-Att-Int Yds TD Long Sack
-------------------------------------------------
Wilson,R.              12-32-1   183  2   34    2
Glennon,M.              4-6-0     56  1   22    0
TEAM                    0-1-0      0  0    0    0
Totals...              16-39-1   239  3   34    2

Receiving             No.  Yds   TD Long
----------------------------------------
Spencer,O.              3   50    0   21
Williams,Ja.            3   44    2   34
Bryan,G.                3   29    0   12
George,K.               2   27    1   18
Baker,T.                1   26    0   26
Bowens,D.               1   22    0   22
Davis,D.                1   18    0   18
Howard,S.               1   16    0   16
Smith,J.                1    7    0    7
Totals...              16  239    3   34

Punting               No.  Yds   Avg Long In20   TB
---------------------------------------------------
Ruiz,J.                 5  150  30.0   40    2    0
Totals...               5  150  30.0   40    2    0

                       Punts   Kickoffs  Intercept
All Returns          No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg
--------------------------------------------------
Johnson,C.            1   5  5  5 108 27  0   0  0
Eugene,J.             0   0  0  1  -1  0  0   0  0
Totals...             1   5  5  6 107 27  0   0  0

Field goal attempts
----------------------------------------
Czajkowski,J.        4th 13:55  26 yds - Good

Kickoffs         No.  Yds  TB  OB   Avg
---------------------------------------
Czajkowski,J.      4  168   0   1  42.0

FUMBLES: Clemson-Kasey Nobles 2-0. NC State-None.

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