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Clemson hoping to get ‘over the hump’ at NC State

Field Level Media

October 24, 2023 at 6:58 pm.

These have been perplexing times for Clemson, but that’s no reason for on-the-fly changes before the next game.

The Tigers will visit North Carolina State for Saturday afternoon’s Atlantic Coast Conference matchup in Raleigh, N.C.

“Just got to get over the hump,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “We just can’t quite seem to put it together.”

Clemson (4-3, 2-3) suffered a double-overtime loss to Miami last Saturday in a game that likely pushed the Tigers out of the league championship picture.

But despite some uneven play from quarterback Cade Klubnik, the Tigers are sticking with him. On the last snap of the Miami game, he deviated from the called play, and it turned out badly.

“Got to go with him, that’s just where we’re at,” Swinney said when asked of any potential QB changes.

North Carolina State (4-3, 1-2) already made a change at quarterback, moving MJ Morris ahead of Brennan Armstrong earlier this month. The Wolfpack are 1-1 with Morris atop the depth chart.

“We took a step back in that Duke game with self-inflicted things,” North Carolina State coach Dave Doeren said of a 24-3 loss at then-No. 17 Duke on Oct. 14.

The Wolfpack had last week off and are looking for their first league win since beating Virginia on Sept. 22.

“One thing as a coach that you hope for is that they’ll just keep fighting,” Doeren said. “This team has never shown that it won’t.”

This is a far cry from last season’s clash, when North Carolina State and Clemson were both ranked in the top 10.

Clemson has defeated the Wolfpack in nine of the last 10 meetings. North Carolina State won a double-overtime game two years ago at home.

The Tigers are expected to be without receiver Antonio Williams, who suffered a toe injury against the Hurricanes. Defensive end Xavier Thomas has rejoined workouts after sitting out because of a team-issued suspension last weekend.

Wolfpack linebacker Payton Wilson is averaging an ACC-leading 11.6 tackles per game.

Doeren, who has a 76-57 record in 11 seasons with the Wolfpack, is one victory away from tying Earle Edwards (1954-70) for the most wins in program history.

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