Too easy to forget

CLEMSON - The formula from Clemson's trip to Carter-Finley Stadium last season is quite simple.

Thirty unanswered points + four turnovers = one ugly loss.

After Clemson took a 3-0 lead in the first quarter, N.C. State went on a 30-0 run.

The Wolfpack scored touchdowns on three consecutive drives, all of which started inside the Tigers' 20. The first two drives began as a result of Clemson fumbles.

Brandon Ford, who finished the night with five catches for 77 yards, remembers the game well.

"This time last year we were 9-1 going down to their place, had a chance to jump back into the BCS rankings," he said. "Everything was playing out our way. We got up there and lost our focus. Those guys ended up beating us pretty bad."

It certainly was a convincing win for N.C. State.

The 37-13 result saw Clemson's hurry-up, no-huddle attack accumulate just 337 yards of total offense. The lone touchdown, a 2-yard run by Mike Bellamy, came with less than two minutes in the game.

"They kind of got up on us early and the game just never got back in our favor last year, so the one thing we've got to do this year -- playing in front of our home crowd -- just take care of the ball," Ford said.

Led by All-American cornerback David Amerson, the N.C. State defense is tied for second in the ACC with 11 interceptions.

The Wolfpack also lead the conference with 30 sacks.

"They've got a lot of talent," Ford said. "Some of those guys, I know their middle linebacker, Sterling Lucas. I played in an all-star game with him. David Amerson is a very good player. He's one of the top players in the country."

He added, "They're unselfish guys. Those guys play ball and they're very athletic. They pursue very well, especially against Florida State."

In the 17-16 upset of the Seminoles, N.C. State held Florida State below its season averages in passing and rushing.

"They've had an up and down season. One game the offense doesn't show up, one game the defense doesn't," Ford said. "But I'm pretty sure we're going to get their best. That's one thing that every team usually does, give us their best and try to get the ‘W' in their column.

"One thing they'll do is execute and get things right."

Ford believes the fans inside Death Valley will help the home team do just that.

"I think, if our crowd feeds into it and we feed off their energy and we take care of the ball, the game shouldn't be close," he said.

And he doesn't think there will be a letdown like last season's game versus the Wolfpack.

"I think the guys are doing a pretty job this year of staying focused…I just think, if everybody keeps that mindset, that we should be ready to play Saturday and execute our game plan, and that's to win," Ford said.

Canes Time Top Stories