NC State comes off of its bye week with the Clemson Tigers coming to town. Things worked out pretty well the last time the fightin' Swinney's came into Carter-Finley. Clemson is having an uncharacteristic down year, and both teams enter the contest at 4-3 overall. You'd have to go back over a decade to see when Clemson had three losses in conference before Halloween.
That should not mean the game will be an easy path for the Wolfpack, because I can guaran-damn-tee you that the person who most remembers what happened his team came to town is Dabo Swinney. I've gotten the vibe that he enjoys playing against NC State, Clemson always seems to be on point for those games. Whether either fanbase wants to admit it or not, but Swinney and NC State head coach Dave Doeren are kindred spirits. Both are old school football coaches that enjoy espousing "culture" and doing things "the right way." Both have leaned on veteran players, rewarding guys for sticking around, whereas older players get playing time at times more than newer more talented guys seemingly just out of tenure. Both are working their way out of this, and Doeren may be a step ahead of Swinney (for now) in terms of embracing the transfer portal and NIL deals. Signs are pointing towards Swinney changing his ways, though his hand is being forced to change or get left behind.
Where does that leave us in terms of Saturday's game? Let's see what the panel thinks!
I was randomly overtaken by a feeling of optimism this week, and Imma ride that wave.
In the preseason I picked the Wolfpack to win this game, but now I'm flipping on that. I think the defense will mostly keep Clemson in check, but that can only last for so long if the offense continues its inability to successfully move the football down the field...which is, you know, the whole goal of the sport.
Two “hot shot” young QBs, two “home run” offensive coordinators with subpar offenses and two lights out defenses. They are the same exact football team. NC State uses the Carter-Finley crowd to make one more offensive play than Clemson in a defensive slug fest
Two struggling offenses, two good defenses. We give up one too many big plays.
So, what do you think will happen this week? Let us know in the comments below, and respond in the poll with your pick!