(*Yds/carry stats are calculated after removing sacks from the equation.)
While Clemson's total yardage is eye-popping--running 102 plays helped here--the amount of yardage State gave up on a per-play basis is sadly not an aberration. Miami averaged more than eight yards per play against the Pack earlier this year. Central Michigan averaged 7.5 yards per snap last year. At least one opponent has averaged more than seven yards per snap in a game against NC State in every season since 2007. (I'm still amazed that UNC averaged 8.9 yards per play against the Pack in 2009 and lost.)
Anyway, NC State's defense was not able to make Clemson a one-dimensional team on Saturday, and that had obvious consequences. Two Tigers players ran for more than 100 yards, while Tajh Boyd threw for more than 400 yards.
It's a shame State squandered such an outstanding offensive performance, but it isn't surprising. Tellingly, NC State did not record a sack in this game, and with all the blitzing this team does, pressure is an absolute must for success. Tennessee simply brushed the Pack's front seven aside in the opener, and that was what we saw in the Clemson game as well.
We got our moments of awesome, thanks primarily to Tobais Palmer, but it proved to be fool's gold. I hate it when that happens. Mike Glennon was outstanding under pressure--he stepped into several throws knowing he was going to get hit--and once again he didn't receive much support.
Robert Smith was the bomb, though.