Our complete Clemson-N.C. State preview and breakdown/pick is up, but there’s still some fun quotes and notes left…
Extra Clemson-N.C. State Notes
* The Wolfpack leading rusher and receiver are both freshmen, but neither one is listed as a starter going into tonight. Running back Matt Dayes is averaging 4.1 yards a carry for 127 total and three touchdowns. Marquez Valdes-Scantling has been the go-to receiver with 12 catches for 174 yards (14.5 YPR).
* N.C. State has been far more successful on Thursday nights compared to the Tigers, going 9-9 (2-1 versus Clemson). Clemson is 2-9 all-time, but they broke up a three-game losing streak by downing Wake Forest, 42-13, last season in Winston-Salem.
* N.C. State coach Dave Doeren is 14-0 as the coach of the home team all-time.
* It’s been 105 pass attempts since Tajh Boyd has thrown an interception. It’s been 227 Clemson offensive plays since Boyd has accounted for any turnover.
* SB Nation charted the Clemson-Georgia game and came away with some interesting results. In run formations (with an extra blocker), the Tigers averaged just three yards per play on all but one play. That play, however, was a playaction 77-yard touchdown pass to Sammy Watkins. On the season, they've also found the Tigers are 92nd nationally in efficiency on standard passing downs, which shows early the impact of Nuk Hopkins' absence.
* Per Clemson SID, the Tigers are 9-1 on September 19, boasting the best winning percentage (.900) of any other football day in school history (min. 7 games).
Last time in Raleigh: We practiced all week trying to be the best team. Our strategy didn’t go all that well as a whole. We just felt like we didn’t play to the best of our ability. They just beat us. I feel like we learned a lot from that game and that helped us get where we are now.
Road environment, Thursday night game: Their fan base is pretty rowdy up there. They have a good fanbase, good players and the atmosphere is great. It’s a good football school, but it’s not unlike any situation we’ll see this year. I think we can go up there and handle the situation and handle our gameplan and be focused.
(Having the national audience) – that’s what we’ve been talking about. We’re the only game on. We’ve been practicing all weekend while everybody has been playing. It’s going to be different, but other than being a game, it’s not going to be any different.
Trap game?: I just laugh when people say this game is going to be a trap game or that game is going to be a trap game. I don’t really pay attention to that. I just focus like it’s another game. Whether people treat it as a trap or not, we have to play. If we don’t play it as well, we just didn’t play to the best of our ability. I don’t really worry about the trap game stuff.
First-team o-line sense of urgency: I think so. I think with the bye week we saw a tough practice. I think anybody will tell you it was a tough practice. That week actually helped us and I think we’re better this week because of last week. I think last week will put us through in this game going through the fire like camp.
Tigers hit the road
Challenge with new State offense: It is a lot different than what we went against last year. It’s a new challenge. They have a lot of different formations and motions and stuff. We just have to stop the run. If we can control the guards, we can control the game.
State QB Pete Thomas: He’s a good quarterback. We have to watch him on third down because he likes to run. We have to maintain our rush lanes and contain him. They use two of them – one in their usually to pass and one to run. We’re prepared for both of them.
Environment: There’s no better atmosphere than Death Valley. I don’t even think that’s on nobody’s mind. We’re just ready.
Are the Tigers tough enough?: We know how good we are and having that opponent to show how good we are versus a quote on quote physical team. Just because somebody says you’re physical doesn’t mean your physical. Once we line up with each other we see who wins the matchup. You can tell from that. I just think the weak versus physical titles get knocked out of proportion because somebody plays in a particular conference – it just comes down to the game. You have to step inside the lines. After the Georgia game, us as a defensive line – we don’t back down from anybody.
State’s tempo: It just becomes part of the game really. We’re used to it. That’s what you see now more is team pushing the tempo. It’s just part of the game now. You’re just used to it now. I feel like it does give us an advantage. Tempo isn’t always a good thing. You get three-and-outs on tempo and your defense has no time to rest.
Mentality going on the road: We’re going to play Clemson football. We are just going to worry about what we can do and the process and not the circumstances and the environment. We’ll play anywhere. We’ll play outside in that parking lot. We’re just focused on executing to the best of our abilities.
Approaching points record, Catanzaro has a lot of thank yous to go out: You got to remember there’s four parts to every kick. There’s the snap and hold – (long snapper) Michael Sobeski and (holder) Corbin Jenkins have done an excellent job of that and our past snappers and holders – the blocking upfront and the kick. Every time we go out there we earn those points. It’s a team effort. I wouldn’t be able to do it without those guys. This points record is as much their record as it is mine. I’m really grateful for them for making my job easy.
Tiger receivers reset after Peake loss
Clemson-State ’11 matchup: we went up there two years ago and it was a snowball rolling downhill. It got bigger and bigger and we gave our defense a short field. We put our defense in a bind. We just couldn’t get it turned around. We missed a couple of reads on the first – if we had scored it might have been the difference in the game. It just kind of a flow. Their crowd is going to be excited. We have to do what we do and manage the game and move the chains.
Tajh Boyd has to profit off short throws: That’s every week. That’s not just N.C. State. Whoever it is we’re playing, I don’t even know who we have next, but it’s who we have next too. Take what they give you. You can’t go broke making a profit. Five yards is a profit.
That’s not the attractive throw. Everybody wants to make the attractive throw and the ‘Ooh’ and the ‘Aah’ and the ‘Wow,’ – that’s an ugly throw but it picks up 12 and 15 and 18 and 10 and moves the chains. That’s the hardest thing. You ask any quarterback and talking to coaches all over the country – that’s the biggest thing with those guys. Just take what they give you. You can’t go broke taking a profit. Five yards is a profit. If I’ve said that once, I’ve said it a million times. And that’s something we’ve worked on. We’ve really worked on it this week and Tajh sees it. They’ve got to see it. If they see it on film and go, ‘Coach, I don’t know why.’ You weren’t looking and weren’t think and trying to make that big throw. If you do (look), the big throws are going to come.