You read that title correctly, unranked NC State stunned No.9 Clemson in double overtime 27-21. Wow! What a game! This game was full of energy from start to finish. Clemson scored first on an incredible toe-tap catch by Justyn Ross. The Wolfpack answered right back a couple of drives later with a touchdown of their own. Both teams tried to get crafty throughout the first half with unfortunate results. The Wolfpack attempted a flea-flicker that ended in a fumble recovered by the Tigers. Later in the half, Clemson attempted a quick pass to avoid a rambunctious blitz that tipped off the defensive line and ended up in the hands of Drake Thomas for an interception. This allowed the Wolfpack to drive down the field, but all for naught as NC State kicker Christopher Dunn missed a 53-yard field goal at the end of the first half.
A defensive battle ensued for most of the second half as both teams were once again only able to muster up one score. With the time running out at the end of regulation, Christopher Dunn once again lined up for a critical field goal. This one from 39 yards out, and Dunn again missed it, sending the game to overtime.
In the first overtime, both teams easily got into the endzone with little to no resistance. This set up a Devin-to-Devin connection as Devin Leary hit Devin Carter on a 22-yard strike in the back of the endzone in double overtime. In my opinion, DJ Uiagalelei has not lived up to expectations that prior Clemson quarterbacks have familiarized us with and this showed on their final drive. Clemson had a chance to answer, and the Tiger quarterback threw three ugly, shaky passes for incompletions allowing the field to be flooded with red and white. This, of course, is a tremendous win for the Wolfpack earning them the No.23 spot in the AP Poll and all the while dropping Clemson out of the top 10, for the first time since 2017, and down to No.25 in the AP Poll.
For Tar Heel fans, they felt the opposite emotions Saturday night as the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets decimated them 45-22. The game started well for UNC as they blocked the Yellow Jackets punt on their first drive of the game. They were able to then score on a read-option in which Sam Howell broke multiple tackles and scampered into the end zone. Later in the half, after seeing the success of the read-option they attempted to run it again, but this time Howell fumbled the ball into the hands of Quez Jackson.
Howell would fumble twice more in this game. These turnovers put the ball in dual-threat quarterback Jeff Sims’ hands, and he did not disappoint. With pinpoint accuracy, he was 10 of 13 on completions for 112 yards and a touchdown accompanied by 128 yards with his legs and three rushing touchdowns. UNC continues to disappoint, falling out of the AP Poll with their second loss to an unranked team.
Appalachian State escaped the Thundering Herd by the skin of their teeth as they squeaked by Marshall 31-30. Both teams continued to go at each other tit for tat all game long. On the Mountaineers’ side, Cam Peoples was the star for App State as he barreled his way through the Marshall defense for 78 yards and three touchdowns. While Peoples got the endzone work, backfield mate Nate Noel added 187 yards on the ground of his own.
The bout was neck and neck in the third quarter, Marshall struck fear into the Mountaineers as their defense came out the locker room clicking capped off with a Micah Abraham interception on the first drive of the second half for Appalachian. The next two drives were much of the same with a fumble and a turnover on downs to follow.
Marshall had a 30-21 lead entering the fourth quarter that would eventually crumble. The momentum swung almost immediately on an extremely difficult contested touchdown catch by Corey Sutton. With a 30-28 lead Marshall missed a crucial 32-yard field goal that allowed the Mountaineers to “thunder” down the field and kick the game-winning field goal for themselves. Appalachian moves to 3-1 on the season and will try to breathe a little easier next week against Georgia State.
These games were so wild that leaves little time for more analysis, so below is a quick rundown of other notable finals from Week 4:
No.16 Coastal Carolina continued their dominance with a 53-3 win over Massachusetts.
Charlotte squeaked away with a narrow 42-39 win over Middle Tennessee.
East Carolina held off Charleston Southern for a 31-28 win.
Wake Forest flexed their muscles in a 37-17 win over Virginia.