Clemson Tops NC State, 20-14


by - Correspondent -
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CLEMSON --- Clemson defensive end Gaines Adams could not watch as Daniel Evans pass sailed towards the Clemson end zone with 15 seconds left in Saturday’s game against N.C. State.

“I was praying they didn’t score.” Adams said. “I didn’t even want to look down there. If I was a little bit faster maybe I could have tackled him before he got that throw off. But I didn’t want to look down there.”

Lamart Barrett hauled in the 38-yard pass from Evans in the Clemson end zone, but he was unable to get his right foot down, making the pass just a simple incompletion instead of what would have been a shocking come-from-behind Wolfpack victory.

“When the ref said he was out of bounds that’s when I was happy,” Adams said.

Adams and the rest of the Clemson Tigers were a whole lot happier two plays later when N.C. State failed to convert on fourth down at the Tigers’ 30, sealing a 20-14 Clemson victory in front of 81,000 in Death Valley.

“I was really concerned about how tired they were,” Clemson coach Tommy Bowden said. “When you lose two straight you say, ‘Do you have enough energy in the tank? Do we have enough gas in the tank to pull this last one out against a good team?’”

The answer was a resounding “yes” as the Tigers (8-3, 5-3 ACC) recorded a goal line stand twice and survived a 34-yard interception return by the ‘Packs Willie Young.


“If you stay in this game long enough, you lose games like that, and I have lost games like that, and win games like that,” Bowden said.
Then came Evans pass to Barrett.

On second-and-10 from the Clemson 38, Evans rolled to his right while trying to avoid Adams when he saw Barrett slip past the secondary near the right sideline and breaking towards the end zone. While on the move, Evans threw the ball down field, where it appeared Barrett was in perfect position to make the catch.

“You look down there and say it is going to be good or bad,” Bowden said. “It’s 50-50 so flip a coin. So thank goodness it went our way.
“It was a good call. It was obvious it went out of bounds. It was still close.”

The three inches Barrett’s foot landed in reference to the end zone, meant it was the fifth straight and the seventh time this season the Wolfpack lost a game by six points or less.

“You have to look the truth in the eye and you have to say that’s the truth,” N.C. State coach Chuck Amato said. “That’s the truth. But you know what? We have to find a way.

“We have to find a way. The other teams are so close to losing and so close to winning, but they have all won in this streak.”
Evans pass appeared to be right where it needed to be as he threw into the end zone. Barrett out jumped Clemson safety Chris Clemmons for the ball, but as he went to land his right foot came down out of bounds, and with it the Wolfpack’s seventh loss in 10 games.

“I saw that he had got behind the guy and I guess I could have put the ball a couple of feet in front of him,” Evans said. “It would have made it easier on him, but I wasn’t able to do it.

“I was kind of falling away from the throw.”

N.C. State (3-7, 2-5) had two more chances to get the ball into the end zone after the incompletion to Barrett. Evans first hit John Dunlap for an 8-yard gain to move the ball to the 30, but on fourth down, Clemson freshman defensive end Ricky Sapp pressured Evans to throw the ball to his lineman, instead of getting the ball down field, to end the game.

Evans said the loss doesn’t hurt anymore than the previous five, but it hurts because it means the ‘Packs season will end on Nov. 25 against East
Carolina. N.C. State needed to beat Clemson, then North Carolina and East Carolina in order to just qualify for a bowl game.

“It’s frustrating, especially at five weeks in a row, but let’s move on,” the redshirt sophomore said. “We have had five of them (losses) in a row and it comes to a point where moral victories don’t do a whole lot for you.

“It stinks to lose, and especially the way we have in the last five weeks.”

It was a fun day, however, for the Wolfpack’s Tony Baker. The redshirt sophomore had a career afternoon, chopping up the Clemson defense, which ranked 11th nationally in run defense, for 174 yards and a touchdown.

“He is a good back,” Clemson coach Tommy Bowden said. “He is tough. He’s good. I give him all the credit. He is very talented.”
Baker said he would trade all of those yards to get a win.

“It was basically little things, little details and little mistakes,” he said. “I think we left it all out on the field, but we have to correct those little things.

“The ball just didn’t bounce are way.”

Trailing 7-0 near the end of the first half, the Wolfpack engineered their best drive of the afternoon following a Clemson touchdown. Behind Bakers running, the ‘Pack marched 67 yards to get the ball down to the Clemson one. On three consecutive plays, the Tigers (8-3, 5-3) kept the
Wolfpack out of the end zone for what appeared to be a goal line stand. However on the fourth down play, Clemson defensive end Phillip Merling jumped offsides and N.C. State was given a fifth opportunity to pound the ball in the end zone.

“That was just a sign to say that we wanted it more than they did,” Adams said. “We said, ‘Let’s stop them again.’ That’s why you have teammates.”
Evans’ quarterback sneak from the one-foot line was stopped for no gain by Merling on the next play and the Wolfpack left a 13-play drive with no points with 2:34 left in the second quarter.

Clemson took a 7-0 lead when running back C.J. Spiller took a toss sweep to the right on third-and-one from his own 48, made two people miss, and scooted 52-yards down the right sideline with 8:45 to play. Spiller finished the day, like Baker, with a career-high 157 yards on 18 carries.
Clemson’s Jacoby Ford opened the second half with a 71-yard kickoff return to the ‘Pack 14, where two plays later quarterback Will Proctor tossed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Grisham for a 14-0 lead.

But N.C. State, like they have all season, rallied to tie the game up before the third quarter came to a close. First Baker went in from a yard out with 8:19 left in the quarter, before defensive end Willie Young made a tremendous play when he intercepted a Clemson bubble-screen pass and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown.

In a period of 54 seconds, the ‘Pack went from two touchdowns down, to tying the game at 14.

“That was just a great play on his part,” Proctor said of Young’s interception.

Clemson responded with a Jad Dean 26-yard field goal to take a 17-14 lead. After both teams trade punts, Adams’ tip of an Evans pass with 2:56 to play, setup a Nick Watkins interception, which the Tigers later turned into three more points thanks to a 31-yard Dean field goal with 1:10 remaining.

“I tipped it a little bit,” Adams said. “Lucky enough, Nick was in the right spot to get the interception. It was an incredible play.”

Score by Quarters     1  2  3  4   Score
-----------------    -- -- -- --   -----
NC State............  0  0 14  0  - 14
Clemson.............  0  7  7  6  - 20

Scoring Summary:
2nd 08:45 CU - Spiller, C 52 yd run (Dean, J kick)
    7 plays, 93 yards, TOP 3:02, NCS 0 - CU 7

3rd 13:45 CU - Grisham, T 9 yd pass from Proctor, W (Dean, J kick)
    2 plays, 14 yards, TOP 1:15, NCS 0 - CU 14

    08:19 NCS - Baker, T. 1 yd run (Deraney, J. kick)
    14 plays, 78 yards, TOP 5:26, NCS 7 - CU 14

    07:25 NCS - Young, W. 34 yd interception return (Deraney, J. kick)
    NCS 14 - CU 14

4th 14:57 CU - Dean, J 26 yd field goal
    16 plays, 78 yards, TOP 7:28, NCS 14 - CU 17
  
  01:10 CU - Dean, J 31 yd field goal
    5 plays, 2 yards, TOP 1:46, NCS 14 - CU 20

Team Statistics 
                                    NCS       CU

FIRST DOWNS...................       16       18
  Rushing.....................       10        9
  Passing.....................        5        9
  Penalty.....................        1        0
NET YARDS RUSHING.............      178      223
  Rushing Attempts............       45       39
  Average Per Rush............      4.0      5.7
  Yards Gained Rushing........      195      241
  Yards Lost Rushing..........       17       18
NET YARDS PASSING.............       95      146
  Completions-Attempts-Int....  10-25-2  15-24-2
  Average Per Attempt.........      3.8      6.1
  Average Per Completion......      9.5      9.7
TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS...........      273      369
  Total offense plays.........       70       63
  Average Gain Per Play.......      3.9      5.9
Fumbles: Number-Lost..........      1-0      2-1
Penalties: Number-Yards.......     2-10     5-41
PUNTS-YARDS...................    6-246    5-181
  Average Yards Per Punt......     41.0     36.2
  Net Yards Per Punt..........     33.2     35.0
  Inside 20...................        4        2
  50+ Yards...................        2        0
  Touchbacks..................        2        0
  Fair catch..................        0        2
KICKOFFS-YARDS................    3-174    5-276
  Average Yards Per Kickoff...     58.0     55.2
  Net Yards Per Kickoff.......     29.7     31.2
  Touchbacks..................        0        1
Punt returns: Number-Yards-TD.    2-6-0    2-7-0
  Average Per Return..........      3.0      3.5
Kickoff returns: Number-Yds-TD  4-100-0   2-85-0
  Average Per Return..........     25.0     42.5
Interceptions: Number-Yds-TD..   2-34-1    2-6-0
Fumble Returns: Number-Yds-TD.    0-0-0    0-0-0
Miscellaneous Yards...........        0        0
Possession Time...............    30:18    29:42
  1st Quarter.................     9:26     5:34
  2nd Quarter.................     9:12     5:48
  3rd Quarter.................     5:26     9:34
  4th Quarter.................     6:14     8:46
Third-Down Conversions........  7 of 17  4 of 11
Fourth-Down Conversions.......   1 of 3   0 of 0
Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......      1-2      3-3
Sacks By: Number-Yards........     2-10     1-11
PAT Kicks.....................      2-2      2-2
Field Goals...................      0-0      2-2

Individual Statistics 

NC State

Rushing         No Gain Loss  Net TD Lg  Avg
--------------------------------------------
Baker, T.       34  174    0  174  1 20  5.1
Brown, A.        6   16    0   16  0 12  2.7
Eugene, J.       1    1    0    1  0  1  1.0
Blackman, D.     2    4    6   -2  0  4 -1.0
Evans, D.        2    0   11  -11  0  0 -5.5
Totals...       45  195   17  178  1 20  4.0

Passing         Att-Cmp-Int Yds TD Long Sack
--------------------------------------------
Evans, D.         24-10-2    95  0   21    1
TEAM               1-0-0      0  0    0    0
Totals...         25-10-2    95  0   21    1

Receiving        No.  Yds   TD Long
-----------------------------------
Dunlap, J.         3   42    0   18
Hill, A.           3   14    0    7
Baker, T.          2   25    0   21
Barrett, L.        1   11    0   11
Eugene, J.         1    3    0    3
Totals...         10   95    0   21

Punting          No.  Yds   Avg Long In20   TB
----------------------------------------------
Deraney, J.        6  246  41.0   55    4    2
Totals...          6  246  41.0   55    4    2

                  Punts   Kickoffs  Intercept
All Returns     No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg
---------------------------------------------
Neal, L.         0   0  0  1  16 16  0   0  0
Morgan, Da.      0   0  0  0   0  0  1   0  0
Kane, J.         0   0  0  1  16 16  0   0  0
Young, W.        0   0  0  0   0  0  1  34 34
Blackman, D.     2   6 10  2  68 35  0   0  0
Totals...        2   6 10  4 100 35  2  34 34

Field goal attempts
----------------------------------------

Kickoffs         No.  Yds  TB  OB   Avg
---------------------------------------
Deraney, J.        3  174   0   1  58.0



Clemson

Rushing         No Gain Loss  Net TD Lg  Avg
--------------------------------------------
Spiller, C      18  157    3  154  1 52  8.6
Davis, J        13   39    5   34  0 15  2.6
Proctor, W       6   31   10   21  0 11  3.5
Stuckey, C       1    9    0    9  0  9  9.0
Ford, J          1    5    0    5  0  5  5.0
Totals...       39  241   18  223  1 52  5.7

Passing         Att-Cmp-Int Yds TD Long Sack
--------------------------------------------
Proctor, W        24-15-2   146  1   20    2
Totals...         24-15-2   146  1   20    2

Receiving        No.  Yds   TD Long
-----------------------------------
Stuckey, C         5   72    0   19
Grisham, T         2   29    1   20
Hunter, T          2   15    0   10
Kelly, A           2   11    0    8
Pearson, A         1   12    0   12
Palmer, M          1    5    0    5
Ford, J            1    2    0    2
Spiller, C         1    0    0    0
Totals...         15  146    1   20

Punting          No.  Yds   Avg Long In20   TB
----------------------------------------------
Chason, C          5  181  36.2   42    2    0
Totals...          5  181  36.2   42    2    0

                  Punts   Kickoffs  Intercept
All Returns     No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg
---------------------------------------------
Ford, J          1  10 10  2  85 77  0   0  0
Spiller, C       1  -3  7  0   0  0  0   0  0
Watkins, N       0   0  0  0   0  0  1   0  0
Coleman, D       0   0  0  0   0  0  1   6  6
Totals...        2   7 10  2  85 77  2   6  6

Field goal attempts
----------------------------------------
Dean, J         4th 14:57  26 yds - Good
Dean, J         4th 01:10  31 yds - Good

Kickoffs         No.  Yds  TB  OB   Avg
---------------------------------------
Chason, C          5  276   1   0  55.2



Courtesy of Daily Journal

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