For the third straight game of the 2013 season, the Pack started a different combination on the offensive line. Left tackle Rob Crisp was forced out of the lineup today due to injury.
Redshirt sophomore Joe Thuney has been a jack-of-all-trades for the Pack's O-Line. Thuney has started all three games, all three at a different position. In the season opener, Thuney was at right tackle, against Richmond he moved to his normal position at right guard, and today he was the Pack's starter at left tackle.
Fellow redshirt-sophomore Alex Barr earned his first career start, as he played at right guard.
Senior Duran Christophe (left guard) and sophomore Quinton Schooley (center) are the only two offensive linemen to start all three games at the same position.
THORNTON RETURNS TO ACTION
After missing the first game of the season, and playing only on special teams against Richmond, sophomore RB Shardrach Thornton returned to the Pack's offense.
On his first series, early in the second quarter, Thornton caught a 32-yard pass, and also rushed for a 21-yard score for the Pack's first touchdown. Of the Pack's 92 yards on that TD drive, Thornton had 53 yards on two plays.
PACK OFFENSE COMES ALIVE IN SECOND QUARTER
After a quiet first quarter of offense, the Pack's second quarter offense moved the ball against the Clemson defense, including Thornton's 21-yard score.
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Both of the Pack's touchdown drives were impressive. The Pack's first score was in the second quarter, covering 92 yards in seven plays. The Pack's fourth quarter TD drive was an incredible 23 plays for 84 yards.
THIRD DOWN WOES
NC State came into tonight's game having converted 17-of-34 (.500) third downs in the first two games. The Pack struggled tonight, going 3-of-16 (.188) on third downs against Clemson. The Pack was 4-of-5 on fourth downs.
CALDWELL RACKS UP TACKLES
For the second straight game, senior middle linebacker Robert Caldwell led the Pack with 13 tackles, bringing his team high season total to 31. Caldwell played only special teams last year, his first season with the Pack, but this year has started two straight games.
The NC State defense recorded 13 tackles for loss, including a team-high four by Caldwell. The Pack also recorded a pair of sacks on Clemson's first series of the game.