For the second consecutive home game, Lower Richland product Marcus Edmond made a play late to ensure No. 3 Clemson would remain undefeated.
After making the game-saving tackle two weeks ago against Louisville, Edmond picked off N.C. State quarterback Ryan Finley in overtime on Saturday as the Tigers held on for a 24-17 win.
“Marcus Edmond executed on the last plays of the game for two consecutive games and two of the biggest plays we’re probably ever going to have,” coach Dabo Swinney said.
The interception was the first of the redshirt junior’s career.
“We were in man. I’m locked up one-on-one, me and him. He ran a post and I caught up with him,” Edmond said. “It means a lot to me. I keep saying I’ll go down in the history books, maybe.”
Edmond was penciled in as a starter entering fall camp before an injury kept him out of practice for most of August. He battled his way back and has been in-and-out of the starting lineup since, but has played a lot of snaps the past several weeks.
“I just really worked on getting myself healthy first. I kept working on my technique and doing everything I had to do to get back playing,” he said.
BRYANT MAKES DEBUT
Clemson defensive end Austin Bryant made his season debut after missing the first six games of the year with a foot injury, and finished with half a sack.
“It was great being able to get my legs back under me,” he said. “I feel good. … It felt good to get back in the swing of things this week.”
Bryant said he’s less than 100 percent but is hoping he’ll be back to full health after the bye week.
“I’m still not there yet, but I’m getting closer and closer so that’s a good confidence booster,” he said.
Clemson defensive lineman Christian Wilkins made plays in all three phases of the game, recording four tackles, blocking a field goal, converting a fake punt with a 10-yard run and paving the way for a first down on fourth-and-short out of the jumbo package in overtime.
His blocked field goal came in the third quarter with the game tied at 10.
“Coach (Dan) Brooks always calls the field-goal blocks, and it was a good call on his part,” Wilkins said. “It set us up perfectly, you had Dexter (Lawrence) and Carlos (Watkins) manhandling the guards inside, so I was able to take advantage of my guy one-on-one. I ripped inside and went up. I knew we needed a big play.”
Wilkins’ run on the fake punt tied for the longest run of the day for Clemson and gave the Tigers a first down.
“It was a lot of fun. It is always fun to be able to get the rock a little bit,” Wilkins said. “They were prepared for it. They had everybody ready and sitting, so I had to bounce it a little bit more. It was meant to go a little more inside. I wanted to show off a little speed.”