By Alex Dodd
For The Journal
RALEIGH, N.C. — Clemson struggled offensively as North Carolina State stunned the Tigers 27-21 in double overtime on Saturday at Carter-Finley Stadium.
The Wolfpack outpaced the Tigers 96-49 and maintained possession for 41:48 of regulation.
N.C. State (3-1, 1-0 ACC) successfully kept Clemson (2-2, 1-1) out of rhythm offensively as it wore down the opposing defense.
And the burden placed on the Tigers’ defense proved too much, as Bryan Bresee, Justin Mascoll and James Skalski all left the game with injuries.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was disappointed in the offensive performance and knows it’s been a long time since his team struggled this much on offense.
“It’s been a long time since we just haven’t been able to put it together offensively. That’s for sure,” Swinney said after the game. “But that’s where we are, and like I said earlier we are going to do everything we can to try and get better.”
Offensive coordinator Tony Elliott self-scouted last week and hoped to shore up some of the errors that plagued his unit before Saturday’s game.
But he’s already turned his focus to Clemson’s next opponent, undefeated Boston College.
“I’m trying to evaluate everything and find out what’s the best plan moving forward to give these guys an opportunity to go win the next game versus Boston College,” Elliott said.
During ESPN’s broadcast of the game, former Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III criticized the Tigers for what he called an “archaic and outdated” scheme.
Swinney expects criticism because of his team’s performance to start the season, and he knows that the Tigers are not reaching expectations.
“The criticism is warranted because that’s where we are right now and that’s who we have displayed,” Swinney said. “With the way we have performed you are going to get criticism and you are going to get comments and things like that. It comes with a territory because of the expectation and the standard at Clemson and who we are — we aren’t meeting that.”
Clemson hosts Boston College at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.