Forcing Turnovers Crucial For Pack

When NC State takes the field against Clemson Saturday in Death Valley, defensive coordinator Mike Archer said it will be crucial to be prepared as it has throughout the rest of the year.

Despite Clemson's struggles, Archer said he knows NC State will get the Tigers' "best shot."

Clemson's four losses have come by just 23 total points and include a three-point overtime loss to undefeated and second-ranked Auburn on the road and a lackluster performance against Boston College this past weekend.

The Tigers, Archer said, still have as many athletes as ever and will test the Wolfpack defense all afternoon. Despite not having leading rusher Andre Ellington, who is out with a toe injury, Archer said Clemson still has just as many athletes as its had in the past.

"Their backs are to the wall and they are playing at home so we're going to get their best shot, we know that," he said. "You can't show up and not expect to get somebody's best shot.

"They were in the ACC Championship game last year and we haven't beat them in a long time, so we've got a lot at stake too. We have to play well and we have to start out fast. When we start out fast as a defense we've played pretty good. When we don't, we don't."

That fast start, something NC State has done well for much of the year, could be key in keeping the crowd of 80,000+ as quiet as possible.

Turnovers have been crucial to NC State's defensive improvement in 2010 and they may be even more important Saturday against the Tigers. Forcing Clemson into mistakes, especially early, will help the unit maintain the momentum Thursday's win over Florida State created.

It will also allow the Wolfpack offense more opportunities against a Clemson defense which only allows 18 points a game.

Archer said turnovers are more important on the road than at home because of what it can do to opposing crowds.

"Turnovers are more important on the road because you tend to take the crowd out of it," he said. "When we play at home here people respond to the crowd and the noise and our fans have been great.

"Now we're going to go on the road and it will be our band of 53 guys we have on the sideline. Turnovers are big on the road."

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