In what many are calling the biggest game in the history of NC State football, the Wolfpack will look for success somewhere they haven’t had much recently as #10 NC State travels to Death Valley to face the #5 Clemson Tigers Saturday night.
Not much needs to be said about this one. It could potentially decide the Atlantic Division title. Someone will move up inside the rankings, while one will take a slight drop.
Both teams enter the matchup 4-0, but the Tigers have been battle tested – as they are 2-0 in ACC play with wins over Georgia Tech and last week’s double-overtime thrilling win over Wake Forest. After an initial scare from ECU, NC State has dominated their next three opponents (Charleston Southern, Texas Tech, UConn) who have a combined record of just 6-11.
Both squads feature high-profile quarterbacks with Devin Leary (80-125, 890 YDS, 9 TD, 2 INT) leading the Wolfpack, and DJ. Uiagalelei (83-129, 1033 YDS, 10 TD, 1 INT) guiding a Tiger offense with an N.C. native as its leading rusher in Will Shipley (52 CAR, 353 YDS, 7 TD)
Both defenses will have a tough task ahead, but things lean towards the Wolfpack in that area – with NC State allowing just 261 yards per game compared to 346 allowed by the Tigers, including giving up six touchdowns against Wake Forest last weekend.
- The Wolfpack will be playing at Clemson for the first time since 2018.
- When COVID forced the ACC to reschedule the 2020 season and took the Tigers off NC State’s schedule, it marked the first time in 50 years the two teams had not played (1970).
- Clemson won eight straight and 15 of the last 16 matchups, prior to last season’s Wolfpack win in Raleigh. The last time the Wolfpack won in Clemson was in 2002 (the last time the Pack was ranked in the top 10).
- Three of the last five contests against Clemson have been one-score games and two of the last five (at Clemson in 2016 and last season in Raleigh) have gone into at least one overtime.
- NC State has three wins against a top-10 Clemson team all-time (1987, 1988 and 2011).
- This will mark the first time the teams have faced other with both teams ranked in the top 10 and only the fifth time when both teams were ranked.
- NC State has faced Clemson twice when both teams are undefeated (both teams were 2-0 in 2013, while NC State was 4-0 and Clemson was 5-0 in 2000). The Wolfpack dropped both of those games.