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NC State played well and lost and sometimes sports make us endure that crap


North Carolina State v Clemson Photo by Todd Bennett/Getty Images

NC State lost in overtime to Clemson on Saturday, and it is entirely fine to be upset about this. I am upset about this. State closed out the fourth quarter about as well as anyone could have hoped and had a short field goal try to steal the game from the Tigers. Overtime never had to be.

It’s fine to be frustrated by everything that happened during and after Kyle Bambard’s game-winning field goal attempt. NC State missed a lot of opportunities in Clemson, with Bambard’s final attempt as the obvious cap on that, but the Wolfpack also made a lot of crucial plays to make that final play possible.

College football games are often four-hour slogs through every emotion possible, and especially when NC State comes so close to a defining win like it did today, it hurts a lot. I’m not angry, though. Just sad and deflated, like the remnants of a regulation football in the clutches of Tom Brady. The team wasn’t rewarded for a really good effort. That’s sports, and that is the shit that can happen when you’re on the road against a top-five team.

If nothing else, this game illustrates how damn near perfect you have to be to win in circumstances like what State faced today. This loss is gonna linger for a while, no doubt about that.

I’m encouraged by what I saw from the team this week, encouraged by their approach to this game. They didn’t play scared and they fought through countless poor breaks and had a chance to win in the final seconds. That’s pretty much all I could have asked for (short of “can you just win by 30, somehow?”) in a game like this.

There are different degrees of cruelty that you can imagine or plug into any defeat, and while today stunk in the most finest of stinkable ways, I’m also looking forward to what this team can do the rest of the season.

Phew. Now that I’ve gotten this out of the way, it’s right back to yelling.