Behind starter Russell Wilson, the Pack offense put together several drives but never got in the endzone, managing just a field goal as the Wolfpack fell to Clemson on Saturday afternoon by a 27-9 score.
Wislon threw for 92 yards, ran for 26 more and threw an interception in his first full game as NC State's starter quarterback. The redshirt freshman showed no ill effects after returning from a concussion suffered in the team's opening game against South Carolina.
Harper and Jacoby Ford led the way for the Tiger offense, as Harper threw for 262 yards and two scores while Ford caught six passes for 107 yards and a touchdown. CJ Spiller also scored two touchdowns for the Tigers, finishing with 61 rushing yards and 35 receiving yards.
The Wolfpack took an early lead thanks the continued exceptional play of linebacker Irving. The linebacker, who already had two interceptions on the season, picked off Harper's first pass from scrimmage and rumbled into the endzone. The touchdown gave the Pack a 6-0 lead as the ensuing extra point attempt was blocked.
Clemson wasted no time in answering the score, as Harper made up for his interception by guiding his team down the field for a nine-play, 76-yard touchdown drive to make it a 7-6 game in favor of the Tigers. The drive culminated with a 16-yard pass to wide receiver Ford which he just barely muscled into the endzone past two Pack defenders.
The Pack force a three-and-out on Clemson's next drive, but the Tigers extended their lead with a field goal on their first possession of the second quarter. The Tigers marched all the way to the Pack's 5-yard line on the drive but had to settle for a 22-yard field goal. They would cap the scoring for the half on their next possession, a quick two-play strike that consisted of a 31-yard pass to Ford and a 28-yard touchdown throw to CJ Spiller to make it 17-6.
Meanwhile the Pack offense struggled to gain any momentum behind Wilson. The Pack gained just 92 yards on offense in the half, including just 21 passing yards, on the way to scoring no points. Their longest drive of the game was just 38 yards, and they punted on every possession of the first half.
The Pack offense showed some life in its opening drive of the half, driving all the way to Clemson's 8-yard line. The drive was aided by a 15-yard personal foul on third down, but the Pack still came away with no points as Josh Czajkowski missed a 25-yard attempt. Czajkowski redeemed himself on the following Wolfpack possession, another long drive that halted inside the 10-yard line but this time the 22-yard attempt connected. The Tigers immediately answered with a field goal of its own, making the score 20-9 at the start of the fourth quarter.
Clemson scored its final touchdown of the game late in the fourth quarter on a 13-play, 96-yard drive that ate up seven minutes and crushed any hopes the Pack had of mounting a late rally. The drive was capped off by a 12-yard touchdown run from Spiller to make it 27-9 in favor of the Tigers.