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Tag:Clemson Upset
Posted on: November 19, 2011 6:58 pm
 

QUICK HITS: NC State 37, No. 7 Clemson 13

Posted by Chip Patterson

NC STATE WON. The Wolfpack put themselves in a tough position needing back-to-back victories over No. 7 Clemson and Maryland in order to reach bowl eligibility, but on Saturday they kept those hopes alive by stunning the Tigers 37-13 in Raleigh. Head coach Tom O'Brien got a Gatorade shower on the sideline as the team celebrated his first victory over Clemson, the program's first in Raleigh since 2003.

HOW NC STATE WON: Tom O'Brien and the NC State coaching staff had a gameplan for the high-powered Tigers, and they executed it to perfection for four quarters. Defensive coordinator Mike Archer no doubt saw the way Wake Forest frustrated Tajh Boyd with multiple looks, and the Wolfpack were on their toes, swarming to make plays all over the field. Two forced fumbles in the first half resulted in scores, with another touchdown coming thanks to a big punt return from T.J. Graham. By the time Clemson woke up from their sleepy start, NC State was out to a 24-3 lead in the second quarter. The lead made the Tigers one-dimensional, and NC State's defensive backs delivered a pair of second half interceptions to help shut down Clemson drives.

WHEN NC STATE WON: This ball game ended at some point during NC State's five-score second quarter. Fumbles from Tajh Boyd and Mike Bellamy turned into scores, and Clemson's inability to move the ball down the field made life easy for NC State quarterback Mike Glennon. The Tigers put together come-from-behind victories against Maryland and Wake Forest this season, but down 27-3 at halftime it did not feel like Clemson had a chance to get back in the game.

WHAT NC STATE WON: Bowl eligibility seemed like a pipe dream after the disappointing 14-10 loss to Boston College. The Wolfpack offense had only produced 23 combined points in their last three contests, so keeping up with Clemson seemed like a daunting task. But Saturday was just a matter of NC State wanting the win more. They game in well-prepared and executed their gameplan for sixty minutes. It was an impressive performance in all aspects of the game, and NC State fans should feel good about their chances next week against a struggling Maryland squad.

WHAT CLEMSON LOST: All of their momentum heading into a pivotal three game stretch. Clemson has fallen behind in four of their last five games, including the two losses. Their Top 10 ranking in the BCS standings put them in a position to possibly earn a BCS bowl bid even with a loss in the ACC Championship Game. Now they will likely fall too far down the standings to earn a BCS bid any other way than claiming the conference's spot in the Orange Bowl. This game was expected to be a test of Clemson's focus, and the young Tigers squad failed their examination.

THAT WAS CRAZY: NC State did not just stun the conference by upsetting the Atlantic Division champs, but they also did some damage to the ACC record book. Cornerback David Amerson tied Dre Bly's single-season interception record with his 11th pick in the third quarter, and wide receiver T.J. Graham broke the ACC career record for kickoff return yards. Not a bad day for a pair of NC State's stars.



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Posted on: October 29, 2011 11:20 pm
Edited on: October 30, 2011 12:05 am
 

QUICK HITS: Georgia Tech 31, No. 6 Clemson 17

Posted by Chip Patterson

GEORGIA TECH WON. Entering the game on a two-game losing streak with a sputtering offense, few teams in the ACC needed a win Saturday night more than Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets had slid out of the polls and down the conference standings in a matter of weeks, as Georgia Tech's high-powered offense began to struggle in conference play. But Saturday night's victory was a full-team effort, with Al Groh's defense shutting down Clemson's playmakers and Tevin Washington providing the big plays needed to keep the Yellow Jackets offense on the field.

HOW GEORGIA TECH WON: Georgia Tech's linebackers and secondary put on one of their best performances of the season, manning up with Clemson's playmakers. The productive drives by the offense forced Tajh Boyd to push when the Tigers did get the ball, and the Yellow Jackets were opportunistic when mistakes were made.

Starting running back Andre Ellington (ankle) was missed sorely, as his backups (both freshmen) combined for two costly fumbles that were recovered by Georgia Tech. Between the turnovers and Clemson's inability to punch in the score when they did reach the red zone, the Tigers offense never got comfortable. Georgia Tech, on the other hand, ran their patented offense with pristine execution. Clemson's defense was on their heels for the final three quarters of play, getting frustrated and overwhelmed by Georgia Tech's offensive line and downfield blocking.

WHEN GEORGIA TECH WON:
Clemson looked as though they had second-life in the fourth quarter after Rashard Hall ran back an interception inside the 10 yard line to set up 1st and Goal. Down just two touchdowns, a quick score and stop could give Clemson the opportunity to tie the game. But Tajh Boyd was picked off by Jemea Thomas in the end zone on the very next play, allowing Georgia Tech to milk the clock as Clemson burned timeouts and seal the upset.

WHAT GEORIGA TECH WON: The Yellow Jackets were rejuvenated on Saturday night, bouncing back in a big way after two straight losses. Now the team gets a much-needed off week to prepare for the next challenge, hosting Virginia Tech on Nov. 10. If the fans can pack Bobby Dodd Stadium on a Thursday night the way they did on Saturday, it should make for another fantastic environment for a game that could decide the ACC Coastal Division.

WHAT CLEMSON LOST: Their status as a BCS title contender. As the list of unbeatens began to shrink, Clemson emerged as a possible title contender if they could run the table. Those possibilities were likely erased with Saturday's loss, and now head coach Dabo Swinney must re-focus the Tigers on winning the ACC. With Wake Forest falling to North Carolina as well, the Tigers maintain their lead in the Atlantic Division and now must avoid letting the loss derail them from the goal of becoming ACC Champions.

 
 
 
 
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