Clemson and North Carolina State meet Saturday afternoon in a battle of unbeatens, in a game with major playoff and ACC title ramifications. The winner of this game will be in the driver’s seat to win the ACC Atlantic division, something Clemson has done five straight seasons.
Clemson has owned the game known as the “Textile Bowl” in recent seasons, winning 14 of 15 overall and 6 straight. Clemson leads the overall series 57-28-1, which dates back to 1899.
The one NC State win over the last 15 years was in 2011. Clemson entered this rank ranked 7, with a 9-1 record, while NC State was 5-5. Hard to explain what really happened in this game but it was never close, with NC State winning 37-13. Even NC State head coach Tom O’Brien had a hard time explaining it – “I really have no explanation for what just happened,” O’Brien said back then, after the game.
QB Mike Glennon completed 19-29 passes for Wolfpack for 253 yards and 3 TD. Clemson QB Tajh Boyd threw 2 INT and no TD. This was the only game in 2011 that Boyd did not throw a touchdown in a game. Former Cardinals RB Andre Ellington ran for just 28 yards on 9 carries. Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins did his thing, with 124 yards on just 5 catches, Bucs WR Adam Humphries had 4 catches for 48 yards and Patriots TE Dwayne Allen caught 3 passes.
This year’s game should be a lot of fun. Clemson is led by true freshman QB Trevor Lawrence while NC State is led by senior Ryan Finley and WR Kelvin Harmon. Wolfpack are averaging 33 ppg and 17 points against, while Clemson is averaging 42 ppg and 14.5 points against. These teams are very evenly matched and the winner will be favorites in each of their remaining games. A Clemson win keeps them as a favorite to be one of the four CFB Playoff teams at year’s end while an NC State win makes things uncomfortable in Death Valley and fascinating in Raleigh.