Clemson at NC State: Preview And Prediction

“There’s going to be pain, blues, and agony….”

Dusty Rhodes

Somebody in NC State’s athletic department actually thought it was a good idea to schedule the schools Homecoming game for the weekend that defending national champion Clemson comes to town. That probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do. As if this Clemson football team needed any extra motivation.

It was well known the Wolfpack were going to be rebuilding this season. Not to mention the Tigers have won the past 7 meetings and 14 of the last 15. Yeah, it sounds like a great idea to make this the Homecoming game.

The Pack currently sit a 4-4 overall and 1-4 in the ACC. Of those 4 wins, only one came over a P5 team, and that was against Syracuse. The Orange are winless in the ACC.

On top of it being a rebuilding season, the Wolfpack have been ravaged by injuries. 20 players have missed at least one game this season, and 14 of those players have missed multiple games. Three more left during last weeks loss to Wake Forest, including two of their top three RB’s, starter Zonovan Knight and 3rd stringer Trent Pennix. That leaves just Jordan Houston, a freshman who is listed at 185 lbs. He isn’t the guy you want carrying the load against this Clemson defense.

Speaking about the injuries they have faced, head coach told the local media this week,

“It’s code red. We are down to the bottom of some position groups.”

Against Wake last week, redshirt freshman Devin Leary made his first career start at QB, completing less than 40% of his passes. This is a guy that was number three on the depth chart coming out of camp, and his play against the Deacs spoke volumes about why he was 3rd string. That is how desperate they have become.

This is an offense that just hasn’t been very good this season. They’ve been able to run the ball at times, but there has been very little semblance of a passing game and it has created major issues for the team once inside the redzone. They have managed to score just 18 TDs in the 32 times (56%) they have reached the red zone.

On defense they looked like one of the better defenses in the ACC early on, but the injury bug has taken its toll. Boston College and Wake Forest both were able to move the ball at will, and this Clemson offense is much better than either of those teams. Stopping the run has become a major issue and the Tigers are coming to town just as Travis Etienne is hitting his stride.
NC State gave up 429 rushing yards to Boston College three weeks ago, and it has allowed 300 yards or more through the air in five of the last six games.

Clemson has gotten off to slow starts in every road game this season, but over the last two weeks things have started to click for them offensively. Trevor Lawrence hasn’t thrown a pick since the 1st quarter against Louisville. He’s looked razor sharp and has been spreading the ball around, getting everyone involved. We have seen major improvement from both the screen game and the intermediate passing game.
NC State gave up 429 rushing yards to Boston College a few weeks ago. They gave up over 400 yards of offense last week against Wake. They’ve allowed 300 yards or more through the air in five of the last six games.

This Clemson team is going to be one ornery bunch when they take the field in Carter Finley Saturday night. The scrutiny this team has faced this season reached a boiling point on Tuesday night when they were ranked 5th in the initial CFP rankings. Throw in the bad blood between these two programs in recent seasons and it all adds up to the Tigers steamrolling this Wolfpack team. Homecoming won’t be very festive….. Clemson 52 NC State 0


Here are some of our readers predictions, taken from the Clemson Junkies group page.

*Anyone guessing the correct score will be entered into a drawing for a free Clemson Junkies tshirt.

  • Kenneth Arrowood 59-13
  • Fran Solesbee 49-0
  • Steve Williams 63-17
  • Lee Waters 65-10
  • Kyle Reynolds 63-10
  • Casey Williams 45-14
  • Albert Schlageter 45-17
  • Michael Sweat 55-14
  • Chad Keith 42-13
  • Mark Godbold 51-13
  • Ray Lundy 66-17
  • Kerry Shealy 49-10
  • Samuel Clemons 63-17
  • Rob Campbell 66-14
  • Robert Fogle 54-13
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JP_Priester

A writer for SBNation's "Shakin' The Southland" covering Clemson Athletics

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