Matt Connolly

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: Clemson vs. NC State


Deon Cain: Clemson’s junior receiver caught a career-high nine passes and finished with 84 receiving yards, including a 12-yard touchdown. Cain had nearly half of Clemson’s 20 receptions, and his touchdown grab late in the third quarter gave the Tigers their first lead.

Ray-Ray McCloud: The speedy receiver returned a punt 77 yards for a touchdown and played cornerback against N.C. State’s best receiver, Kelvin Harmon, on the final drive of the game. McCloud did not have a catch but found other ways to contribute.

Clelin Ferrell: The defensive end totaled 12 tackles and had five tackles for loss, including the only sack of the game. Nine of Ferrell’s tackles were solo stops.

K’Von Wallace: The reserve defensive back intercepted Ryan Finley on the final play and broke up a pass in the end zone earlier on N.C. State’s final drive to help Clemson maintain its lead.


Kicking game: Clemson kicker Alex Spence was 1-for-2 on field goal attempts with a miss from 39 yards, while N.C. State kicker Carson Wise missed a 34-yard kick in the first half.

Pass coverage: The teams combined to allow 529 passing yards, committed several pass interference penalties and there were a number of times when receivers were running free but Finley and Bryant were unable to hit their targets.

Clemson’s first half defense: The Tigers allowed 21 points and 244 yards of offense in the first half as Finley completed his first 14 passes before a drop ended his streak.

Sacks: Clemson and N.C. State have two of the best defensive lines in the country, but the units combined for only one sack.

Matt Connolly