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Clemson rallies behind stout defense in Top-10 win over NC State

Aralynn Minnick, Asst. Photo Editor

Clemson linebacker Barrett Carter (0), linebacker Keith Maguire (30) and safety Andrew Mukuba (1) tackle an NC State player in Memorial Stadium on Oct. 1, 2002. 

After giving up 46 points last week, No. 5 Clemson held its own against No. 10 NC State on Saturday night and left Memorial Stadium with a 30-20 win.
While Clemson gave up a field goal on NC State’s opening drive, the Wolfpack’s scoring would be scarce from then on out.
Outside of a last-minute score by NC State quarterback Devin Leary, the Tigers’ defense kept the Wolfpack in check, holding them to 279 total yards and 1.6 yards per carry.
Playing a pivotal role in containing NC State’s offense was defensive K.J. Henry, who believes Saturday was a statement win for the Tigers’ defense.
“I think we took a great step forward tonight,” Henry said. “We’re definitely not there yet, but I can say the mindset for four quarters finally showed up tonight.”
Henry finished the game with two total tackles and one fumble recovery. 
Although Henry and the rest of the Clemson defenders made it easier on the offense, the Tigers still had a willingness to score. 
Following two B.T. Potter field goals, Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei scored the first touchdown for the Tigers late in the second quarter — a 1-yard scamper that gave Clemson a 13-10 lead heading into the half.
Uiagalelei would go on to complete a 7-yard pass to tight end Jake Briningstool at the 11:36 mark in the third quarter to extend the lead to 10 points.
Following Briningstool’s score, Clemson’s defense gave NC State fits time after time, forcing three punts and two turnovers in the second half.
One of Clemons’ turnovers came from cornerback Toriano Pride Jr., who intercepted Leary with less than three minutes left in the third quarter. Starting in the absence of Sheridan Jones, it was the freshman cornerback’s first interception of his career. 
Uiagalelei finished the game completing 70% of his passes for 209 yards and one touchdown. The junior signal-caller also added two rushing scores and a team-high 73 rushing yards.
Meanwhile, Briningstool was one of Uiagalelei’s favorite targets on the night, as the tight end led the Tigers in receiving with 54 yards on four receptions.
Clemson running back Will Shipley also made his presence known with 97 total yards.
The Tigers will be back in action next week when they go on the road to take on Boston College.

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