FINAL GRADE: NC State's Offense vs. Clemson

Looking back at the loss to Clemson, how did NC State's offense fare? Who were the standouts on that side of the ball? What grade would you give the defense?

BIGGEST TAKEAWAY
NC State's offense was very effective.

There were some issues in spurts, but overall, the Wolfpack performed really well against a Clemson defense that entered the game 4th nationally in total defense.  

The Wolfpack was able to hit some explosive plays against the Tigers, and if they play that way the rest of the season NC State will end the year with several more wins.

THREE STARS
As is always the case, it starts with senior quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who had arguably his best game of the season, especially when you factor in the competition.

Brissett finished with 254 passing yards on 24-of-41 passing with three touchdowns and no intereceptions. While he had a fumble, Brissett also added a rushing touchdown on the opening drive that came on fourth-and-two, a big play for the Wolfpack early on.

Overall, Brissett was aggressive and when he plays that way NC State's offense has a high ceiling because there are capable playmakers on the roster.

NC State fans have to be thrilled to see junior tight end David Grinnage finally involved in the offense.  Grinnage had received minimal touches leading up to the Clemson matchup, but he was an obvious option for Brissett given Clemson loves to play man coverage which opens up opportunities for a receiving threat like Grinnage.  

Grinnage had five catches for 60 yards in the Wolfpack's first seven games.  He totaled seven catches for 82 yards and his first touchdown of the season against the Tigers.

The Wolfpack will need to be more aggressive in the passing game moving forward so look for Grinnage to remain involved, especially against teams that will defend him with a linebacker or safety in man coverage.

Finally, Jaylen Samuels had been quiet the previous two games but was outstanding against the Tigers.  He totaled a team-high eight catches for 74 yards and a touchdown, and Samuels added another 65 yards and a score on six carries.

14 touches for 139 yards and two touchdowns against an elite defense like Clemson?  Not a bad day at the office for the talented sophomore.

Like with Grinnage, look for Samuels to remain a focal point offensively for the Wolfpack.

FINAL GRADE
That is a well-deserved grade for the Wolfpack offense.

Clemson was allowing just 14 points per game defensively, and State totaled 41 when you add in the kickoff return by Nyheim Hines.  The Pack was moving the ball through the air and the backs were strong on the ground as Matt Dayes and Jaylen Samuels combined to total 137 yards on 15 carries (9.1 yards per carry).

NC State totaled 11 chunk plays with four resulting in touchdowns.  The offense was also relatively clean with just one penalty and one turnover in the game.

NC State's offense has morphed into a big-play unit the last two games, and that must continue this week as Boston College is one of the top defenses in the country.

Overall, this was easily NC State's best offensive performance of the season when you consider the competition.


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