Athlon: Preview of Clemson-NC State


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All four Athlon writers have predicted Clemson over NC State with the smallest victory margin being 10 points.

The Tigers are on upset alert, as a hostile crowd in Raleigh and an improving NC State team is waiting on Thursday night. Clemson lost its last trip to Raleigh in 2011 but has won eight out of the last nine matchups against the Wolfpack. Despite losing quarterback Brandon Mitchell in the opener to a foot injury, NC State’s offense is averaging 31.5 points a game. New starter Pete Thomas is completing 67.2 percent of his passes, but freshman Bryant Shirreffs will see snaps in a change-of-pace role. Clemson’s defense is a work in progress under second-year coordinator Brent Venables, and although the Tigers are giving up 5.7 yards per play, they have forced five turnovers and generated seven sacks this year. Clemson quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Sr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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shredded NC State for 426 yards and five scores last season, and the Wolfpack rank last in the ACC in pass defense after two games. NC State is a dangerous team and should be able to move the ball against the Tigers’ defense. However, Clemson’s offense simply has too much firepower.

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