Down goes Penn State, down goes Ohio State, and down goes Oklahoma State. All with difficult games, and now all have been eliminated from the playoff chase. Clemson also had a difficult game today. They had to head to Raleigh, NC and face an NC State team more than capable of beating the Tigers. For an entire year the Wolfpack had marked this game down after giving away a victory against Clemson last season.
It was expected to be and was a very tough game for Clemson. Ryan Finley shredded to pieces a depleted Clemson secondary for 338 passing yards. The Wolfpack had nearly 500 yards total, but Clemson answered showing resiliency and poise in a hostile environment.
Against a quality defensive front the Tigers ran for 224 yards, and in a game where their defense struggled the Tigers won a shootout 38-31. Let’s not forget the Tigers were in such bad shape in the secondary WR Ray Ray McCloud had to some defensive back today.
As we’ve said all year Clemson QB Kelly Bryant doesn’t have to be spectacular in the passing game. That’s not what he does. He just needs to play mostly mistake free, and make some timely throws to go along with plays with his feet. That’s what he did today throwing for 191 yards while running for 88. He still has tendency to sail passes high, and that seems like a mechanical issue that won’t be corrected until the off-season. Clemson just has to live with that issue, but he’s the QB the Tigers have to have on the field to make a playoff push.
With the NC State hurdle cleared, Clemson has one more game to clinch an ACC Atlantic Division. It is Florida State at home, which doesn’t appear nearly as daunting as earlier in the year Of course Clemson still can’t overlook a talented Seminole team, but with playoff contending team after team falling away the Tigers are in the position to get back to the ACC Title game and Playoffs.