NOTES: N.C. State at Clemson

The No. 23-ranked Clemson Tigers open their ACC schedule Saturday afternoon against N.C. State.

THE SERIES
• Overall, Clemson has a 48-27-1 lead in the series, including a 20-11 lead in games at Clemson and a 17-11 lead in games in Death Valley. Clemson has a 17-15 lead in games in Raleigh and a 12-8 lead in games played at Carter-Finley Stadium.

• 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 11 games have been decided by eight points or less. The 2004 game at Clemson was decided on the last play of the game when Charles Bennett made an interception at the goal line. The 2006 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. Clemson won last year's game by a 42-20 margin.

• NC 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 6-3 against NC State since he has been at Clemson. That includes a 3-2 record in Raleigh and a 3-1 ledger at Clemson. Clemson has won each of the last two in Raleigh and each of the last two at Clemson for a four-game winning streak.

• 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). If Clemson gains a victory on Saturday, it will give the Tigers a record tying five consecutive wins in the series. Clemson's four-game winning streak is its longest active streak over any ACC team. Clemson has beaten Florida State three years in a row and four out of five.

LANDMARK GAMES
• 1903- Clemson defeated NC State 24-0 in Columbia, SC in 1903. Clemson Head Coach John Heisman married the former Evelyn Barksdale in Columbia after the game. It is believed to be the only time in Clemson sports history that a coach has won a game and won a lady's hand in matrimony on the same day.

• 1948- Bobby Gage ran 90 yards on a punt return for the only score of the game in a 6-0 Tiger victory over the Wolfpack in 1948. It was the longest punt return in Death Valley until Jacoby Ford had a 92-yard punt return against Florida Atlantic in the opening game in 2006.

• 1950- Clemson defeated NC State 27-0 in 1950. Wyndie Windham led the Clemson defense and according to legend knocked out three NC State backs on three consecutive plays in the second half.

• 1967- Clemson painted its shoes orange for the NC State game in Death Valley and the Tigers upset the 10th ranked Wolfpack 14-6. One of the linebackers on that NC State team was former Pack Head Coach Chuck Amato. Clemson clinched a tie for the ACC championship with the victory. Clemson painted its shoes orange because NC State had featured a defense that had worn White shoes during the season. It was the highest ranked team Clemson defeated in Death Valley in the Frank Howard era.

• 1984- Clemson defeated NC State 35-34 in Raleigh in the highest scoring game decided by one point in Clemson history. No points were scored by either team in the fourth quarter.

• 1991- Clemson wore purple jerseys for the first time since the 1940s in a 29-19 upset victory over NC State. NC State was undefeated and ranked 10th in the nation entering the game against Ken Hatfield's Tigers. Nelson Welch kicked a record five field goals in leading Clemson to the victory. Clemson went on to win the ACC Championship.

*1995- Clemson gave up over 500 yards total offense to the Pack, but still won 43-22. Leomont Evans tied a Clemson single game record with three interceptions.

RECENT HISTORY
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, the most ever against Clemson. 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. 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.

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.

2007- James Davis rushed for 166 yards and C.J. Spiller added 114 in Clemson's 42-20 victory in Raleigh. Both players had a touchdown rushing and receiving. The Tigers had 608 yards of total offense, the most ever by Clemson in a road game.

Clemson Looks for Fifth Straight Win over Wolfpack
Clemson will be looking for its fifth 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 on 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 game by C.J. Spiller. Clemson won last year's game behind a 340-yard rushing performance. The Tigers gained 608 yards of total offense in last year's win, a school record on an opponent's home field.

Clemson has not beaten NC State five years in a row since winning five in a row from 1981-85. The current Clemson senior class is trying to become just the sixth 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, the 1985 team and the 2007 seniors. Clemson has had other four-game winning streaks against the Pack, but they have not come in consecutive years.

If Clemson gains victory over NC State it would be the first time Clemson has swept an ACC opponent five straight years since the Tigers swept Duke five straight between 1999-03. 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.

NC State Enters with 1-1 Record
NC State enters Saturday's game with a 1-1 record after an opening loss at South Carolina and a home win over William & Mary. Coach Tom O'Brien's team has allowed opponents just three points in the first half in the two games combined.

The Pack has been led on offense by running back Andre Brown, who has 144 yards in 38 attempts in the first two games. He had 101 yards rushing in the opening game against South Carolina. Brown entered the season with 1,772 career rushing yards, second to Clemson running back James Davis among active ACC running backs. He missed four games due to injury last year.

NC State used two quarterbacks last week in the win over William and Mary. Harrison Beck, a junior and a transfer from Nebraska, has been the most effective of the two signal callers statistically with 17-28 passing for 246 yards. He has a 150.94 efficiency rating. Last year, he got the start against Clemson, but left the game after just 10 plays with a knee injury. Daniel Evans has also seen action this year.

The top receiver is Owen Spencer, a sophomore from Leland, NC. He has eight catches for 109 yards so far this season, a big improvement over his freshman year when he had just five catches for the entire season. T.J. Graham is a first-year freshman who leads the team in all-purpose running with 189 yards, including 88 on just four receptions.

The defense is led in tackles by Nate Irving, a sophomore linebacker from Wallace, NC. Irvin has 23 stops in two games, including 3.5 tackles for loss, and a blocked punt return for 13 yards. Robbie Leonard, a senior linebacker from Moon Township, PA is second on the club in tackles with 15. NC State is among the national leaders in quarterback sacks with eight for 41 yards. The defense is also active in the secondary with six interceptions in just two games.

Hamlin Ties Clemson Record
Senior safety Michael Hamlin had his top statistical game since he has been at Clemson in the victory over The Citadel last week. Hamlin had three interceptions, a career high and a Clemson record tying performance. He also led the Tigers in tackles in the game with eight.

Hamlin became the fifth Clemson player in history with three interceptions in a single game. It was first done by Kit Jackson against Wake Forest in 1965. The other four times it has taken place have all come since 1995. Leomont Evans did it at NC State in 1995 and Brian Dawkins did it the same year against Duke. All three of Dawkins picks came in the first quarter. Alex Ardley was the last Tiger with three picks, he did it against Maryland in 2000.

Hamlin had 78 return yards on those three thefts and moved from eighth place to second place on the Clemson career interception return yardage list. Only Rex Varn with his 275 career interception return yards is ahead of Hamlin's 210.

Hamlin has 11 career interceptions and four recovered fumbles for 15 total takeaways. His interception total is tied for eighth best in Clemson history, but his 15 takeaways are tied for second best in school history. Only Terry Kinard, who was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001 and was a first-team All-American on Clemson's 1981 National Championship team, has more than Hamlin with 19. He is tied with Fred Knoebel and Brian Dawkins. Dawkins has been a six-time Pro Bowl selection with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Hamlin's 11 career interceptions rank fifth in the national among active players. His 210 interception return yards rank ninth best among active players.

Intercepting passes runs in the Hamlin family. Two of his brothers, Markee and Marquais, play in the secondary for South Carolina State and will be at Clemson next week when the Bulldogs play the Tigers. Markee is a junior and he was named the MVP of the South Carolina State defense last year when he had five interceptions. Hamlin's father once made five interceptions in a high school game in Lamar, SC, and that is still the state record for a single game.

Spiller Scores Three Times
Clemson junior running back C.J. Spiller scored a career high three touchdowns, all rushing, in the victory over The Citadel. Spiller scored on touchdown runs of 37, 1 and 17 yards and finished the day with six rushes for 75 yards.

For the year he has eight carries for 82 yards, a 10.2 average. For his career, he has 1788 yards in 282 attempts for a 6.34 average. When he reaches 300 attempts, he will surpass the minimum to rank among the national active leaders in yards per rush. His 6.34 average is ahead of the previous mark of 5.92 set by Jackie Calvert from 1948-51. Clemson uses a minimum of 1000 total rushing yards to be on the yards per carry list.

Spiller has four total touchdowns this year, as he scored on a 96 yard kickoff return in the opener against Alabama. That was his third career kickoff return for a touchdown. He is one of four active FBS players with three kickoff returns for scores. The others are Perrish Cox of Oklahoma State, Brandon Tate of North Carolina and Marcus Thigpen of Indiana.

Spiller leads the Tigers in all-purpose running with 319 yards in two games. He has 82 yards rushing, 59 on four receptions, 15 on punt returns and 163 on kickoff returns. Spiller had 195 all-purpose yards in the first game and 124 against The Citadel.

Spiller now has 3457 all-purpose running yards for his career, fifth best in school history. He is just behind James Davis, who has 3592 for his four years. The record is 4839 by Derrick Hamilton, who played from 2001-03.

Davis and Spiller Both have Run Well vs. NC State
Clemson running backs James Davis and C.J. Spiller have been very successful against NC State over their respective careers. Both have had two 100-yard rushing games and average nearly 7.0 yards per carry between them. They have combined for seven touchdowns.

In 2005, Davis was a freshman and had 12-143 rushing in Clemson's 31-10 victory on a Thursday night in Raleigh. NC State had three first-round draft choices on the defensive front, but Davis ran through the group effectively. In fact, he suffered a broken wrist and played just half the game.

In 2006, 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. He averaged 8.6 yards per rush in that game.

Last year, Spiller and Davis both had 100-yard rushing games, leading the Tigers to 340 yards of total offense. Davis had 24-166 and a touchdown rushing and had four catches for 13 yards and a touchdown receiving. It is the second highest rushing yards in a game in his career. Spiller had 21-114 rushing and had 3-34 receiving. Like Davis, Spiller had a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown in Clemson's 42-20 win. It was one of four games over the last two years that Spiller and Davis both had at least 100 yards rushing. The duo combined for 280 yards rushing in the game, their second highest combined game. They had 332 yards rushing against Georgia Tech in 2006.

Combined, Spiller and Davis have 611 rushing yards in 88 attempts, a 6.94 average against NC State.

Clemson Opens ACC Schedule
This is the 56th ACC season and Clemson has a 34-20-1 record in its previous 55 ACC openers. Tommy Bowden is 7-2 in ACC openers as Clemson head coach. He defeated Virginia in 1999 in his league opener, also his first overall win at Clemson and his first win over a top 25 opponent, then downed Wake Forest in 2000.

In 2001, Virginia upset a top 25 Clemson team in the ACC opener at Death Valley on the last play of the game, 26-24. Clemson defeated Georgia Tech in its league opener in 2002 and 2003, then defeated Wake Forest in its ACC and season opener in 2004 in triple overtime.

Clemson then defeated Maryland at College Park in its 2005 ACC opener. The 2006 ACC opener was a thrilling 34-33 double overtime loss at Boston College. So Clemson is 1-1 in double overtime games in ACC openers. Last year Clemson defeated Florida State 24-18 on Labor Day night in the season and ACC opener.

Clemson is 18-10 in ACC openers at home, 15-10-1 on the road and 1-0 at neutral sites.

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