Tigers Lose Mistake Filled Game to NCSU, 35-31

by - Correspondent -

For the second straight year, the Clemson Tigers and the N.C. State Wolfpack lit up the scoreboard, this time putting up a combined 66 points. Unfortunately for the Tigers, N.C. State’s previously dormant offense came to life, outscoring Woodrow Dantzler and the Tigers 35-31.

The Tigers (2-2 overall, 2-1 ACC) came out strong, taking their opening drive 65 yards in seven plays for a touchdown. Woodrow Dantzler hit Rod Gardner for 25-yards to move the Tigers to the NC State 42. Four plays later, Dantlzer faked a reverse to Brian Wofford and then found wide-open Mal Lawyer in the endzone, giving Clemson the early 7-0 advantage.

On the Wolfpack’s first possession, quarterback Jamie Barnette’s pass to Chris Coleman was popped loose by Tiger safety Robert Carswell. Alex Ardley came up with the tipped-ball and returned it to the N.C. State ten yard-line. Travis Zachery needed only one carry to get into the endzone and put Clemson ahead, 14-0.

N.C. State answered on their next drive, marching 80-yards in ten plays with Barnette connecting with Ryan Hamrick from 18-yards for the score. The PAT pulled the Wolfpack to within seven, 14-7.

Clemson continued the offensive fireworks in the first quarter behind a 17-yard quarterback draw by Dantzler to the N.C. State three yard-line. Zachery finished off the drive one play later with a three-yard plunge. Tony Lazzara was good on the extra point and Clemson built its lead to 21-7.

It only took the Wolfpack 1:12 to strike back on a 39-yard run by Rahshon Spikes. With the extra point, the first quarter scoring barrage ended with the Tigers holding a 21-14 advantage.

Clemson led off the second quarter by driving to the Wolfpack 16-yard line. A Wolfpack sack of Dantzler stalled the drive and the Tigers were forced to attempt a field goal. Lazzara was good from 43-yards and the Clemson lead was ten, 24-14.

N.C. State closed out the first half scoring with an impressive 94-yard, nine-play drive. Barnette passed to Bryan Peterson from 22-yards out for the touchdown, closing the gap to 24-21 at the half.

The Wolfpack opened the second half at their own 35-yard line after Jaime Somaini’s kickoff rolled out of bounds. N.C. State used a combination of Rahshon Spikes rushing and Barnette passing in twelve plays to march down to the Clemson one-yard line. On fourth and one, Wolfpack head coach elected to go for the touchdown. Barnette found tight end Andy Vandeveer uncovered for the touchdown.The PAT was good nd the Wolfpack led 28-24.

The Tigers bounced back later in the third quarter when Dantzler and Brian Wofford hooked up on a spectacular 26-yard touchdown pass that put Clemson back out front. Lazzara was good on the conversion and the score was 34-31 after three quarters of play.

After the Clemson defense forced N.C. State to punt after three plays, Tiger punt returner Mal Lawyer bobbled the ball and the Wolfpack recovered. With momentum fully in hand, N.C. State needed only six plays to go 45-yards with Barnette finding Vanderveer again in the endzone. The point after was good and the Wolfpack was back on top, 35-31.

After a rare series of defensive stops by both teams, Clemson regained possession at their 27-yard line with 2:42 remaining in the game. The Tigers quickly moved out to the 39-yard line before Dantzler fumbled the snap and lost eight yards on first down. After two incompletions, Dantzler was sacked by Wolfpack linebacker Nate Goodson on fourth and thirteen, ending the Tiger hopes and giving N.C. State a hard-fought 35-31 victory.

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