The Wolfpack finished with 202 total yards compared to Clemson’s 364 yards, but it was more efficient with the yardage gained.
This was the 91st meeting between the two programs and second straight victory for the Pack when hosting the Tigers at Carter-Finley Stadium. It also won the last meeting in Raleigh, picking up a 27-20 double overtime victory.
Here are three takeaways updates from the game:
Defense is the best offense
Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren consistently preaches the importance of winning the turnover battle. N.C. State did that in commanding fashion.
Two of the Pack’s touchdowns came directly from turnovers, with safety Devan Boykin getting things going in the first. Boykin intercepted a pass from Clemson quarterback Cade Klubnik. The offense turned the interception into a 9-yard touchdown pass from quarterback MJ Morris to wide receiver Kevin “KC” Concepcion, putting N.C. State up, 7-0.
Then, linebacker Payton Wilson recorded his first career pick six in the third quarter. He intercepted a pass from Klubnik and returned the ball for 15 yards to the end zone.
Jaylon Scott added a forced fumble in the fourth quarter, pushing the Tigers back 17 yards. They were unable to make up for the deficit and were forced to punt, giving N.C. State possession.
KC Concepcion carries offense
Concepcion put together yet another big game for the Wolfpack, recording his third contest of at least 100 yards.
The true freshman contributed 51 rushing yards and 83 receiving yards en route to the victory. He hauled in two touchdown catches, while the 50-yard run took place three plays before one of his trips to the end zone.
He added a 72-yard touchdown pass, as well. That put him up to six touchdowns this season.
Concepcion’s impressive performance was much-needed in a game where N.C. State finished with just 201 yards, including 20 passing yards at halftime.
The offensive struggles don’t lie solely on Morris or the other receivers, though. It would be an understatement to say the offensive line protection lacked.
Clemson sacked Morris twice for a loss of 18 yards in the first half, while adding a third sack against Brennan Armstrong for a loss of four. The O-line allowed three QB hurries, as well.
Basically, the Wolfpack offense should thank Concepcion and its defenders for covering up a lot of issues that could’ve handed Clemson a win.
Kicking comes up clutch
N.C. State’s consistent special teams efforts once again made an impact on the game, as expected.
Place kicker Brayden Narverson made a 41-yard field goal in the second quarter, putting the Wolfpack up 10 points. It was his seventh straight successful field goal this season, with his last miss coming against Notre Dame.
Clemson had an opportunity to tie the contest before halftime, but place kicker Jonathan Weitz missed the 43-yard attempt. The Tigers are 6-of-13 on field goal attempts this season, with Weitz going 5-of-9. Weitz’s longest field goal of the season measured 41 yards.
One field goal might not seem to matter, but that three-point lead gave N.C. State major momentum before the break.
The following were updates from earlier in the game:
Tigers add a touchdown
Clemson scores its second touchdown of the game on a 1-yard carry. The Tigers capped off a 75-yard drive that took 4:38 off the clock.
KC Concepcion hits 100 all-purpose yards
Wide receiver Kevin “KC” Concepcion recorded a 72-yard passing touchdown in the third quarter, ending an 80-yard drive. That put him over 100 total yards for the third time this season. He previously recorded at least 100 yards against Virginia and Marshall.
Wilson adds pick six
Linebacker Payton Wilson scored his first career pick six after intercepting a Clemson pass. Wilson is up to six interceptions in his Wolfpack career.
Davin Vann leaves field in third
Defensive end Davin Vann left the game early in the third quarter. He walked without assistance but limped off the field. Vann had three tackles and 0.5 tackles for a loss.
Clemson misses FG
After scoring on a 75-yard drive, the Tigers had a chance to tie the game with a 43-yard field goal attempt. Jonathan Weitz, however, missed the attempt and moves to 5-of-9 on the season.
Wolfpack extends lead with field goal
N.C. State added to its lead when kicker Brayden Narveson scored on a 41-yard field goal, his seventh straight field goal. Narveson’s attempt capped off a 55-yard scoring drive that took 4:52 off the clock.
NC State scores first
Freshman wide receiver Concepcion recorded a 9-yard touchdown reception, putting N.C. State on the board first. On the scoring drive, Concepcion rushed for 50 yards after safety Devan Boykin forced a Clemson turnover.
Clemson injury update
Three players from Clemson football’s two-deep depth chart didn’t travel, per the team. Defensive end Justin Mascoll, cornerback Jeadyn Lukus and defensive tackle Peter Woods all did not make the trip. Coach Dabo Swinney said earlier this week Mascoll and Lukus were day to day with undisclosed injuries.
Starting wide receiver Antonio Williams (toe) and strong safety R.J. Mickens (appendix surgery) were ruled out for the Tigers earlier this week. So that’s three starters in name and five rotational players in total out for Clemson today.
Wolfpack without Pennix
N.C. State tight end Trent Pennix was seen in a boot during warm ups. Pennix started three games this season and appeared in all seven. He has 11 receptions for 136 yards and two touchdowns.