Clemson holds off NC State 38-31

Tigers 8 and 1 on season

Ed Jenson
November 04, 2017 - 9:03 pm

The No. 4 Clemson football team handed No. 20 NC State its first ACC loss of the year on Saturday, defeating the Wolfpack 38-31 at Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday. With the win, Clemson improved to 8-1 overall and 6-1 in the ACC, while NC State slipped to 6-3 on the year and 4-1 in conference play.

Offensively, the Tigers were sparked by Deon Cain, who was Kelly Bryant’s favorite target and amassed 84 yards on a career-high nine catches, and Tavien Feaster, whose 89-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter was tied for the third-longest run in Clemson history. Defensively, Ryan Carter shone for Clemson, who had three pass breakups and hauled in a fourth-quarter interception that set up the Tigers’ final score of the game.

NC State got on the board less than two minutes into the contest, turning a Tim Kidd-Glass interception at the Clemson 40-yard line into a touchdown three plays later, when Ryan Finley connected with Kelvin Harmon for a 40-yard scoring pass. Clemson evened the score with nine minutes left in the first quarter on Ray-Ray McCloud’s 77-yard punt return touchdown, the Tigers’ first since 2014. Jaylen Samuels then gave the Wolfpack a 14-7 lead late in the first quarter on a one-yard scoring run.

The Tigers found the endzone less than a minute into the second quarter when Kelly Bryant ran for a 10-yard touchdown, bringing the score to 14-14. NC State regained the lead a few minutes later, as Finley connected with Samuels for a seven-yard touchdown that put the Wolfpack up 21-14. An Alex Spence 26-yard field goal cut the Wolfpack’s lead to 21-17 with five minutes remaining in the first half. Each team then went on to miss a field goal, and 21-17 was the score heading into the break.

Cain opened the third quarter scoring with only three and a half minutes left in it on a 12-yard scoring pass from Bryant, putting the Tigers up 24-21. As time was expiring in the quarter, Feaster broke loose for his 89-yard touchdown run, giving Clemson its largest lead of the game heading into the final quarter.

Finley found Jakobi Meyers for a 15-yard score just two and a half minutes into the fourth quarter, narrowing Clemson’s lead to three points. On the Wolfpack’s next drive, Carter’s interception allowed for the Tigers to drive down and retake a 10-point lead on Bryant’s second rushing touchdown of the day. A Kyle Bambard 22-yard field goal left Clemson’s lead at a touchdown with just under two minutes remaining in the game, and the game ended with K’Von Wallace intercepting Finley’s final pass with no time left on the clock. 



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