Tough, tough loss. We've seen the Tigers come out victorious in so many of these nail-biters over the years that it just feels bizarre. It did after the Georgia loss, and if feels just as surreal now. The Tigers may wind up with the two "best losses" in the nation--a loss to No.2 on a neutral field thanks to a pick-six and a double-overtime loss on the road to a good NC State team--but the Tigers are likely out of the playoff race for the first time since 2014, as no 2-loss team has ever made it. On top of all that, it looks like Shipley may have a serious knee injury after going down in the first overtime, and Bresee may have the same. Skalski also left the game early, but that looks to be a shoulder stinger and not too serious. Dabo confirmed to me after the game that it's Shipley's knee, but they don't have a diagnosis yet.
I'll have Dabo, post-game interviews, notes and highlights in a bit!
The game was Clemson’s 15th overtime contest in school history. It was Clemson’s second overtime game against NC State all-time, joining a 24-17 overtime win in 2016.
The game was Clemson’s fifth multi-overtime game in school history, joining games against Wake Forest in 2004, Miami (Fla.) in 2005, Boston College in 2006 and Notre Dame in 2020.
Clemson surrendered its first offensive touchdown of the season with five seconds remaining in the first quarter. It ended a streak of 194:55 to open the season in which Clemson did not allow an offensive touchdown.
The touchdown came on the 38th drive faced by Clemson’s defense this season.
It was Clemson’s longest season-opening streak without allowing an offensive touchdown since 1950, a year in which Clemson similarly did not allow an offensive touchdown until the first quarter of the season’s fourth game.
Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei completed 12-of-26 passes for 111 yards with two touchdowns.
Uiagalelei recorded a career-long 37-yard rush in the fourth quarter on a drive that eventually evened the score at 14-14. It surpassed his previous long, a 30-yard run against Boston College last year.
Wide receiver Justyn Ross caught eight passes for 77 yards with two touchdowns.
The two touchdowns tied Ross’ career high and represented his third career multi-touchdown game.
Ross’ eight receptions were his second-most in a game in his career, trailing his nine at South Carolina in 2019.
Ross has now caught a pass in 31 consecutive games.
Clemson opened the game’s scoring on its second possession on a 32-yard touchdown pass from Uiagalelei to Ross. Clemson dropped to 60-3 when scoring first since 2015.
The first-quarter touchdown reception was Ross’ 19th of his career, temporarily tying him with current Clemson graduate assistant Artavis Scott (19 from 2014-16) for seventh-most career receiving touchdowns in school history.
Ross later added a nine-yard touchdown reception in overtime.
With his second touchdown catch of the game, the 20th of his career, Ross joined DeAndre Hopkins (27 from 2010-12), Sammy Watkins (27 from 2011-13), Tee Higgins (27 from 2017-19), Mike Williams (21 from 2013-16), Aaron Kelly (20 from 2005-08) and Deon Cain (20 from 2015-17) as on the only players in Clemson history with at least 20 career receiving touchdowns.
During the contest, Ross pushed his career receptions total to 134, passing the career total of Wide Receivers Coach Tyler Grisham, who had 132 catches from 2005-08.
Ross (2,081) also passed Airese Currie (2,030) and No. 14 Deon Cain (2,040) for 14th on Clemson’s all-time leaderboard for career receiving yards.
Running back Will Shipley rushed for a five-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to even the score at 14-14.
In doing so, Shipley became the first Clemson true freshman with a rushing touchdown in three consecutive games since Travis Etienne's four-game streak late in the 2017 season.
Shipley (five) became the eighth Clemson player since 1973 with at least five rushing touchdowns in a true freshman season. His fifth rushing touchdown of the season tied Deshaun Watson (five in 2014) and Lyn-J Dixon (five in 2018) for sixth-most by a true freshman in Clemson history.
Linebacker Baylon Spector recorded a team-high 19 tackles. His 19 tackles marked the most by a Clemson player in a single game under Dabo Swinney, one ahead of Spencer Shuey’s 18 tackles against Georgia in 2013.
Spector’s career high in tackles entering Saturday was 13 against Virginia last season.
Spector’s 19 tackles were the most by a Clemson player since 2002, when John Leake recorded 21 stops against Maryland.
Defensive end Xavier Thomas recorded a career-high 2.0 sacks.
Thomas recorded his first full sack of the season in the second quarter, pushing his career total into double digits. He now sits at 11.5 career sacks.
Thomas added another sack in the second quarter, stripping the ball for his third career forced fumble. It was Thomas’ first forced fumble since Nov. 28 last season against Pitt.
The fumble was recovered by defensive tackle Ruke Orhorhoro, his first career fumble recovery.
Safety Nolan Turner recorded his second career sack in the third quarter. It was his first since the third game of his now 56-game career at Louisville in 2017.
Clemson stopped a two-point conversion attempt in the second overtime. Opponents are now 1-for-16 on two-point attempts against Clemson in the Dabo Swinney era.
Punter Will Spiers started his 60th game to add to his school record for career starts. Wide receiver/holder Will Swinney's career total as Clemson's primary holder parallels Spiers' run as starting punter.
Spiers recorded a season-long 52-yard punt in the second quarter, and then exceeded that with a 53-yard punt in the third quarter.
In total, Spiers recorded three punts of at least 50 yards, one shy of his career high of four set against Syracuse last year.
Spiers, Swinney and linebacker James Skalski each played in their 60th career games to break the school record for most career games played shared previously with tight end Cannon Smith (2015-18), defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (2015-18), safety Tanner Muse (2016-19) and safety K'Von Wallace (2016-19).
Clemson and NC State, whose last meeting was in Raleigh in 2019, played consecutive contests in the series in Raleigh for the first time since 1951 and 1956 (with no meetings across the 1952-55 seasons). The teams’ scheduled meeting in Clemson in 2020 was wiped out when the ACC schedule changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The teams had played every year since 1971 prior to 2020.
Clemson is now 59-29-1 all-time against NC State.
The defeat snapped Clemson’s 36-game winning streak against teams unranked in the AP Poll, the second-longest in school history. Clemson's most recent defeat at the hands of an unranked squad had come in 2017 at Syracuse. Clemson is now 110-13 against AP-unranked teams under Dabo Swinney.
The game was tied 7-7 at halftime. It was only Clemson’s ninth game under Dabo Swinney to be tied after two quarters.
Captains for the contest were cornerback Mario Goodrich, offensive tackle Jordan McFadden, kicker B.T. Potter and defensive end Xavier Thomas.