Devin Carter missed on a catch that had the potential to turn the game substantially in NC State’s favor during the first half. It was the first of a couple misses on big plays for the Wolfpack. And those missed opportunities, along with some missed field goals, nearly made for a nightmare.
But Carter made up for his earlier mistake with a game-saving touchdown catch in the second overtime, one that was underrated for its difficulty as he adjusted in the back corner to snag the ball at his knees. That catch gave NC State a 27-21 edge, and that was the big play needed to finally—fucking FINALLY—deliver a win against Clemson.
Beating Clemson was never going to be easy and it was definitely not going to come cheap, and while the Pack was the better team for the majority of regulation, it also did a pretty disappointing job of helping the Tigers stay in the game. What was a 7-7 game at the break could easily have been a 10-point Wolfpack margin.
But so it goes. What can you say about this defense? They answered the call time after time, and they were outstanding despite the game pressure—this is inarguably the best defensive performance by a Dave Doeren team. Those guys were phenomenal. They took every bullshit Tim Beck play call in stride and just kept on doing what they do.
Early on, NC State did not look ready for the moment, as there were a bunch of avoidable procedure penalties from the offense. Mucking things up in scoring territory would become a theme, but thankfully, not a crippling one. The first quarter was a disaster.
They fought through all of the mistakes to win the game, which is exactly what you hope a veteran group can do. I’m so proud of these guys for rallying after the gut-punch that was Chris Dunn’s missed field goal at the end of regulation. It’s never easy, and they never gave up.
Hell yes, let’s enjoy this one.