Clemson University

The moments that led to the Clemson-NC State rivalry heating up

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney previews matchup with NC State

Swinney is impressed with Ryan Finley, Wolfpack
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Swinney is impressed with Ryan Finley, Wolfpack

The Clemson and N.C. State rivalry has been taken to a new level over the past several years thanks to some strange occurrences during and after games.

In 2013, Clemson offensive lineman Isaiah Battle punched an N.C. State defender and was ejected from the game.

Two years later, an N.C. State assistant coach shoved Deshaun Watson when Watson ran out of bounds on the Wolfpack’s sideline.

Last year, Bradley Chubb pulled Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant’s towel throughout the matchup, and afterwards, N.C. State coach Dave Doeren questioned why Clemson had a laptop on its sideline during Clemson’s 38-31 win.

“It’s an incredibly competitive game for sure for both teams,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said Tuesday. “Both teams want to win. We have had some crazy stuff (happen), though.”

Clemson has won six consecutive games against N.C. State, but the last two in particular have come down to the wire.

Two years ago, Clemson had to survive a game-winning field goal attempt in the final seconds before winning in overtime. Last year, the Tigers picked off Ryan Finley in the final seconds as N.C. State was driving to tie up the game.

Add in all of the drama that has taken place lately and it is easy to see why the rivalry is heating up.

“I did want an investigation on the towel stealing, and Dave sent me some Adidas towels back and apologized, and I’m like well these are Adidas, these aren’t even our towels. I guess Chubb’s still got them hung up in his apartment,” Swinney joked.

“One year I had to call him and apologize for Isaiah, and he had to call me and apologize for his coach pushing Deshaun on the sideline., And then last year, I didn’t really understand the laptop stuff. I’m not sure what (that was). But it was all good. I get along fine with Dave. It’s just a very competitive game, and they’re a good team.”


Clemson receiver Cornell Powell is cleared to return to the field after missing time with an academic situation earlier in the season, but Swinney said Powell could redshirt instead.

Powell played in the first four games of the season and registered five catches for 63 yards. He was also Clemson’s primary kickoff returner, averaging more than 29 yards per return. He can still redshirt because of the new redshirt rule that was implemented this year.

“He got his situation resolved, but we’re talking about maybe trying to redshirt him,” Swinney said. “That’s something that we’ve maybe had some discussions with and we might see how that goes, see if we can get a year back on Cornell.”


Junior running back Tavien Feaster is expected to play this week after injuring his shoulder against Wake Forest.

Feaster has 35 carries for 183 yards and two scores so far in 2018.