There will not be a seventh straight trip to the College Football Playoffs for the Clemson Tigers. The nation’s 9th ranked team lost for a second time this month Saturday night in Raleigh falling to unranked NC State in double-overtime 27-21. The Tigers are now 2-2 on the season with a loss to Georgia as well. No team with two losses has ever made the playoff.
All day long it felt like Clemson was staring defeat in the face. Their offense was inept except for a scoring drive early and a scoring drive late. The Tigers punted 8 times on the day. This season they have punted 23 times in four games. All last season they punted 50 times.
The Tigers were fortunate just to make overtime as State’s kicker Christopher Dunn missed three field goals, including one from 39 yards on the last play of regulation.
The teams exchanged touchdowns and kicked extra-points in the first overtime. In the second, State went first and scored a touchdown pass. The two-point conversion was no good. On Clemson’s possession, Justyn Ross had a chance for a touchdown catch but couldn’t hold on to the ball in the end zone. On the final play, DJ Uiagalelei tried to hit ross in the end zone, but he was well covered, and the pass went incomplete as the Tigers’ playoff hopes went down the drain.
The game was not just emotionally painful for Clemson and their fans, but it took a physical toll as well. The Tigers lost linebacker James Skalski, defensive tackle Bryan Bresee and running back Will Shipley to injuries during the game.
Here’s my game recap from Carter-Finley Stadium: