Tony Adams knows NC State will have a monumental task on Saturday but he also the feels the Wolfpack have confidence after surviving the Storm of 2016 last week at Carter-Finley Stadium.
NC State's win over Notre Dame was the kind of victory that will have its place in lore, perhaps growing in importance as time goes by. The contest against Clemson has ACC ramifications, but the approach that helped lead to the win over the Irish is going to remain unchanged for the Textile Bowl matchup versus the Tigers.
"They're still a good team. They still have a lot of history," Adams said of Notre Dame. "I think that, for us, as a group, every win is a valuable win, especially these home games. We just got to move on this week, 1-0 mentality. It's going to carry over, but this is a different team, better record.
"We still got to play the highest level competition regardless. I think that really helps us remain focused on what we have to do, how we have to execute each week, very specific. One thing that we have to really well on is focusing on each week. I think we've done that, and it's helped us these past 3 weeks."
An interesting storyline is the matchup of NC State versus Dexter Lawrence, who spurned the Wolfpack for the Tigers as a senior at Wake Forest High School last season. Adams also is making waves, as he has not allowed a quarterback pressure or sack in 153 pass block snaps according to Pro Football Focus College Football.
Adams, also takes pride in his run blocking and the Notre Dame contest, with Matt Dayes rushing for over 100 yards, is a source of delight.
"We were very, very proud," Adams said of the offensive line about Dayes' effort. "It was tough. We really wanted to compete against Notre Dame, because they're known for being physical, their physicality, all that kind of stuff. We set a competition against them, rather than being on. We definitely won that battle, because they only had 58 rushing yards. I think that that was a very proud moment for us and the whole group. Didn't give up any sacks either, but we didn't really pass the ball a lot. It was one of the better days that we've had, better feeling days that we've had. We just got to carry over to next week."
"They got some size to them," Adams added about Clemson's defensive line (including Lawrence). "They're a very talented group, definitely the best we'll play this year, or we're going to play so far this year. We definitely know what they bring to the table, but we prepare the same way for everybody. High level to practice, definitely wanted to compete in every way we can, and then dominate. That's our whole thing, speed up the ball, dominate the front, all that kind of stuff. We expect to do that every game."
With the showdown in Death Valley approaching, the sting of the loss in Greenville has eased somewhat. If NC State can conjure a victory at Clemson it would open things up in the conference and the national scene.
And the offensive line as a whole, according to Adams, will continues to grow and remain bullish on the prospects of this season.
"We've been very confident throughout the whole season, because as a group, we understood through camp what we had to do," Adams said. "We all had a philosophy that we all stuck through with each other, that we're all family. Our group of guys is so tight night that it's really hard for us to lose any confidence in ourselves. We're very confident even in the men behind us or next to us. I think that going through it, the whole season will be the same, very confident in each other."