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Clemson sends Wolfpack home with tails between their legs

Davis Stevens, Staff
Tee Higgins (5) accumulated over 115 receiving yards to go along with a receiving touchdown 

       The Clemson Tigers handily defeated the NC State Wolfpack on Saturday by the score of 41-7.
       Clemson started off the game on all cylinders with Marion Kendrick taking the open kick for 40 yards. Trevor Lawrence then took advantage of wide open receivers, hitting Tee Higgins and Hunter Renfrow en route to the end zone. Travis Etienne capped off the 57-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run.
       Clemson didn’t waste any time asserting themselves on the defense side of the ball, either, immediately forcing a Wolfpack 3-and-out. Tanner Muse recorded the first sack of his career, pinning NC State into a 3rd and 19.
       After an offense drive that stalled out thanks to a good defensive stand by NC State, the defense stepped up once again. Isaiah Simmons was especially effective during the stand, blitzing behind the line of scrimmage and dropping back into coverage breaking up passes.
       Back on offense, the Tigers strung together another touchdown drive to extend their lead to 14-0. Hunter Renfrow snagged a low pass for a first down, but it was Tee Higgins who was the big beneficiary of Lawrence’s surgical precision. Higgins gained separation with his speed and caught the ball in stride on his way to a 46-yard touchdown catch.
       Defensively, Clemson got lucky on a dropped pass by Kelvin Harmon that would’ve all but guaranteed a touchdown. Defensive end Clelin Ferrell then blew up the offensive line and tackled the ball carrier to bring up 3rd and 12. The noise of Death Valley was a force to be reckoned with, as the Wolfpack offense was penalized for a delay of game and then a false start due to the overwhelming noise generated by the fans to bring up 3rd and 22, which the Wolfpack failed to convert.
      In the second quarter, the Tigers continued to dominate both sides of the ball. Wide receiver Tee Higgins surpassed 100 receiving yards by the end of the quarter, while fellow receivers Hunter Renfrow, Justyn Ross, Trevion Thompson, and Derion Kendrick combined for 133 receiving yards in the half.
      Isaiah Simmons lead all players in tackles in the first half with six, which included four solo tackles. The defense forced five tackles for loss in the first half as well, limiting NC State to just 100 total offensive yards in the half. The defense also recovered a fumble after NC State quarterback Ryan Finley was unprepared for the snap.
      The second half was marked by even more excellence from the Tigers. On their opening drive, the Wolfpack appeared as if they were finally about to put some points on the board. That was, until Jaylen Williams picked off Finley on a deep throw over the middle of the field.
      The Wolfpack did eventually avoid the shutout thanks to a 9-yard touchdown run by running back Reggie Gallaspy.
     On offense, running back Travis Etienne became the first player in Clemson Football history to rush for three touchdowns in three consecutive games. His three touchdowns might have been a bit misleading however, as Etienne had a rather quiet day, rushing for a total of 39 yards on an average of 2.6 yards per carry. In the air, on the other hand, the game was one of the most impressive that the Tigers have had this season. Clemson receivers accumulated 380 yards over the course of the game, well above their season average.
      With the win, the Tigers move to 7-0 on the season. Clemson will face the Florida State Seminoles on the road on Saturday, October 27th at 12:00 pm. 

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