Clemson - N.C. State Game Notes

Overall, Clemson has a 47-27-1 lead in the series against N.C. State, including a 16-15 lead in games in Raleigh and a 11-8 lead in games played at Carter-Finley Stadium.

Clemson vs. N.C. State Series Notes
• Overall, Clemson has a 47-27-1 lead in the series against N.C. State, including a 16-15 lead in games in Raleigh and a 11-8 lead in games played at Carter-Finley Stadium. Clemson holds a 20-11 record in games played at Clemson, including a 17-11 mark at Death Valley.

• The series dates to 1899 when Clemson was victorious 24-0 in a game played in Rock Hill, SC. That was just the fourth year of Clemson football and the 16th game in the school's history.

• Eight of the last 10 games have been decided by eight points or less, including two of the last three. The 2004 game at Clemson was decided on the last play of the game when Charles Bennett made an interception at the goal line. Last year's game was a 20-14 Clemson win and NC State drove to the Clemson 30-yard-line before freshman Ricky Sapp recorded a sack on the last play.

• Each team has one win by 20 points or more over the last 10 years and both of those games were on Thursday night. So every day game between the two teams the last 10 years has been decided by eight points or less. NC State won at Clemson on a Thursday night in 2002 by a 38-6 score, and Clemson won in 2005 on a Thursday night, 31-10.

• N.C. State's last win in the series took place on a Thursday night in Raleigh in 2003, a 17-15 Pack win. Philip Rivers led the Pack to the victory in a battle of San Diego Chargers quarterbacks. Clemson's QB that night was Charlie Whitehurst who now backs up Rivers in San Diego.

• N.C. State was Clemson's nemesis team from 1986-88. The Tigers won the ACC Championship each year under Danny Ford, but never beat the Pack in the process, losing all three seasons. It was the only loss for Clemson in the ACC in each of those years.

• Tommy Bowden is 5-3 against NC State since he has been at Clemson. That includes a 2-2 record in Raleigh and a 3-1 ledger at Clemson. Clemson's wins under Bowden in Raleigh took place in 2001 and 2005.

• In recent years the two teams have won in two-game sets. Clemson won in 1996 and 1997. NC State followed with victories in 1998 and 1999, then Clemson won in 2000 and 2001 behind Woody Dantzler who rushed for at least 100 yards from the quarterback position in each game. NC State won in 2002 and 2003 behind Phillip Rivers, while Clemson won in 2004 and 2005. Clemson then broke the streak last year by also winning, extending the streak to three games.

• Clemson's longest winning streak in the series is five games (1981-85), while NC State's longest winning streak in the series is six (1971- 76).

Clemson Looks for Fourth Straight Win over Wolfpack
Clemson will be looking for its fourth straight victory over NC State. The streak started with a 26-20 victory at Clemson in 2004 on a last second interception by Charles Bennett. The Tigers won the 2005 game at NC State on a Thursday night ESPN game by a 31-10 score thanks to a 143-yard rushing night by then freshman James Davis. Clemson won its third straight over the Pack last year, a 20-14 victory at Clemson behind a 154-yard rushing game by freshman C.J. Spiller.

Clemson has not beaten NC State four years in a row since winning five in a row from 1981-85. The current Clemson senior class is trying to become just the fifth Tiger senior class to sweep NC State four straight times in school history. Clemson senior classes who have been 4-0 against NC State include the seniors on the 1931 team, the 1951 team, the 1984 team and the 1985 team. Clemson has had other four- game winning streaks against the Pack, but they did not come in consecutive years.

If Clemson gains victory over NC State it would be the first time Clemson has swept an ACC opponent four straight years since the Tigers swept Duke five straight between 1999-03. Clemson also had a four-year, four-game streak over Wake Forest from 1999-02 under Bowden. The Clemson record for consecutive wins over an ACC rival is 29. Clemson won the first 29 meetings in its series with Virginia between 1955-89.

The last time Clemson won four straight over any opponent in consecutive years is the 2002-05 stretch when it won four straight over rival South Carolina.

Clemson 0-2 vs. Tom O'Brien
While Clemson has won three straight games against NC State, the Tigers are 0-2 against Tom O'Brien, the Pack's head coach. When O'Brien was the head coach at Boston College, his Eagles defeated the Tigers twice, both in overtime. In 2005, Boston College downed Clemson at Death Valley,16-13 in one overtime and in 2006 his Eagles stopped the Tigers, 34-33, in double overtime in Boston.

O'Brien will be the fifth person to coach against Clemson as the head coach of two different ACC teams. The others to do it are Bill Dooley (North Carolina and Wake Forest), Al Groh (Wake Forest and Virginia), Bobby Ross (Maryland and Georgia Tech), and Jim Tatum (Maryland and North Carolina).

NC State defensive coordinator Mike Archer also had success against Clemson last year. He was the Kentucky defensive coordinator in the Wildcats 28-20 win over Clemson in last year's Music City Bowl.

Recent Clemson vs. NC State Games
1997-- In Raleigh, Matt Padgett, who went on to a professional baseball career, booted a 20-yard field goal with just 19 seconds left to give Clemson a 19-17 victory over 25th ranked NC State. The Tigers drove 78 yards in 14 plays to set up the winning score. Nealon Greene hit 20-32 passes for 250 yards and Tony Horne caught eight passes for 112 to key the Clemson offense.

1998-- at Clemson, Tory Holt completed an incredible day with a nine-yard scoring pass from Jamie Barnette with just 37 seconds left. It was his fourth touchdown reception of the day. He had 225 yards receiving in that game and he is the only Clemson opponent to catch four scoring passes in the same game.

1999-- NC State, behind then Head Coach Mike O'Cain, defeated Clemson 35-31 in an exciting contest in Raleigh that featured 35 first-quarter points between the two teams combined, most combined points ever in the first period of a Clemson game in history. Clemson had five possessions in the fourth period with a chance to take the lead, but could not drive for a winning touchdown.

2000—This game was a thriller that came down to the last possession before the Tigers came away with a 34-27 victory. Woody Dantzler completed 18-30 passes for 220 yards and also rushed for 103 yards and two touchdowns. Rod Gardner had 10 catches for 137 yards (most reception yards ever by a Clemson player against NC State), while Travis Zachery added 31-147 and two scores.

2001-- Dantzler gained 517 yards of total offense, an all-time Clemson record. He had a career best 23-27 passes for 333 yards and four scores, and also rushed for 184 yards and two touchdowns. It was arguably the best individual performance in Clemson history as he accounted for an ACC record six touchdowns (four pass, two rush). Still, it was a 45-37 outcome, as Phillip Rivers had another outstanding passing game for NC State.

2002—T.A. McClendon had a breakout game with 178 yards rushing to lead NC State to a 38-6 victory in a Thursday night game in Death Valley. Clemson's only touchdown came on a kickoff return by then freshman Justin Miller. It was his first career kickoff return.

2003-- Phillip Rivers evened his career record against Clemson at 2-2 with a 213-yard passing performance, leading the Pack to a 17-15 victory in Raleigh in a game shown on ESPN on a Thursday evening. Clemson cut the deficit to 17-15 with five minutes left, but the Tigers could not get close enough for a winning field goal. NC State got the ball back with 3:54 left and ran out the clock. The game was a matchup of future San Diego Chargers quarterbacks. Clemson's QB that night was Charlie Whitehurst.

2004-- Clemson won 26-20 when Charles Bennett intercepted a pass at the Clemson goal line on the last play to preserve the victory. It was the seventh time in the last eight meetings that the game was decided by eight points or less.

2005-- Even though he played just over two quarters, freshman James Davis gained 143 yards rushing in just 12 attempts to lead Clemson to a 31-10 victory, Clemson's largest margin of victory in the series since a 40-17 win in 1996. It remains Clemson's only victory on a Thursday evening ESPN game.

2006-- Jad Dean kicked a pair of fourth quarter field goals to lead Clemson to a six-point win. C.J. Spiller had a career high 154 yards rushing, including a 52-yard scoring run for the Tigers. Toney Baker had 174 yards rushing for NC State.

Last Year vs. NC State
Clemson 20, NC State 14
Jad Dean kicked two fourth-quarter field goals to provide the difference in Clemson's 20-14 victory over N.C. State at Memorial Stadium on November 11. Clemson held a 14-0 lead early in the third quarter, but the Wolfpack tied the score before Dean's two field goals gave the Tigers the win.

Clemson out-gained N.C. State 369- 273 despite totaling seven less plays. The Tigers rushed for 223 yards. Clemson also totaled 146 yards passing, while holding N.C. State to just 95 yards through the air.

C.J. Spiller rushed for 154 yards on 18 carries and added a 52-yard touchdown run. Spiller's rushing total was the most by a Tiger freshman in 16 years. Will Proctor was 15-24 for 146 yards with a score and two interceptions. Chansi Stuckey added five catches for 72 yards.

Toney Baker rushed for 174 yards on 34 carries and a touchdown. However, Clemson contained quarterback Daniel Evans, who was just 10-24 for 95 yards and two interceptions.

The Tigers scored the game's first points midway through the second quarter. After starting the drive at its own seven, Clemson marched 93 yards on seven plays. Spiller carried four times for 30 yards to move the ball near midfield.

Then on third-and-one, he took a toss-sweep and outran the Wolfpack secondary for a 52-yard touchdown run.

N.C. State came right back and threatened. Baker's 20-yard run moved the ball to the Clemson 16, then he ran five yards on third down to give N.C. State first-and-goal at the Tiger three.

A run by Baker and two carries by Andre Brown moved the ball to the one. On Brown's third-down carry, he appeared to have the corner, but Chris Clemons pushed Brown out-of-bounds just shy of the goal line.

N.C. State went for it on fourth down, and Clemson appeared to have stopped the Wolfpack short of the goal line, but an offsides penalty gave N.C. State another chance. This time, Evans tried to sneak up the middle, but Clemson's surge kept him out of the endzone again.

Jacoby Ford atoned for his previous fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half. He bounced off his teammate and sprinted 77 yards to the Wolfpack 14. Two plays later, Proctor connected with Tyler Grisham for a nine-yard touchdown pass over the middle, giving Clemson a 14-0 lead.

But N.C. State answered right back on its next drive. The Wolfpack drove 78 yards in 14 plays to cut Clemson's lead in half. Evans found Baker for a 21-yard gain on a screen pass, giving the Wolfpack first-and-goal at the eight. Three plays moved the ball to the one, and once again, N.C. State elected to go for it on fourth down. This time, Baker plowed his way to paydirt off right tackle.

Two plays later, disaster struck for the Tigers. Proctor tried to complete a pass to Stuckey behind the line of scrimmage. But Willie Young anticipated the throw, intercepted the pass, and raced 34 yards for the game- tying score.

But after a 16-play, 78-yard drive that took 7:28 off the clock, Clemson regained the lead. Proctor came through with two clutch third-down completions. But a costly holding penalty helped stall the drive, and Dean came on to make a 26-yard field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter.

On its next two drives, N.C. State had good field position, but both times Clemson's defense forced a punt. Then, Nick Watkins came up with an interception on a tipped pass to give Clemson possession at the Wolfpack 16.

Four plays netted only two yards, as the Tigers again were hurt by a penalty. Dean made a 31-yard field goal to extend the lead to six points with 1:10 remaining in the game.

John Kane returned the kickoff to the N.C. State 43. Two plays later, Evans hit Dunlap for an 18-yard gain to move the ball to the Tiger 38. After spiking the ball, Evans scrambled right and lofted a pass to Lamart Barrett, who came down with the ball. But his foot landed inches out-of-bounds in the endzone with Clemons defending on the play.

Then, facing a fourth-and-two from the Clemson 30, Ricky Sapp sacked Evans to secure Clemson's six-point victory.

Davis and Spiller Both have Had 140-yard Games vs. NC State
Clemson has two running backs who have had one of their best career games against NC State. Two years ago, James Davis had 143 yards rushing 12 attempts in a 31-10 win over the Pack. It is tied for his fourth best rushing day as a Tiger, his third best day in terms of yards per attempt. He reached that total in just two quarters, then suffered a broken wrist on his first carry in the third period and did not return to the game.

Last year, C.J. Spiller had 154 yards rushing on 18 attempts and scored a touchdown on a 52-yard run to lead the Tigers to victory. The 154 yards are the second best total of his Clemson career. His career high is 155 against South Carolina last year. Spiller averaged 8.6 yards per rush against NC State last year.

Tigers Open 3-0
Clemson has jumped out to a 3-0 start, one of 28 teams that stand 3-0 entering this weekend. Clemson and Boston College are the only undefeated teams left in the ACC.

This is the first time Clemson has been 3-0 to start a season since 2000 when Clemson started 8-0, and it is just the second 3-0 start for the program since 1991. This is Clemson's second 3-0 start under Tommy Bowden. Overall it is the 21st season in the history of the program that Clemson has opened 3-0, just the sixth since 1960.


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