NC State football stuns ACC rival Clemson on homecoming. How the Pack upended the Tigers
On October 28, 2023, the NC State football team pulled off a stunning upset against ACC rival Clemson, winning 24-17 on their homecoming game. The victory is significant, as it not only handed Clemson their second consecutive loss but also marked their fourth loss of the season. The win solidifies NC State’s position and keeps them in contention in the ACC. While Clemson was favored to win by most sports books and ESPN’s prognostication formula gave them a 75.6% chance to win, NC State’s solid defense, standout performances from freshman wide receiver Kevin “KC” Concepcion, and clutch kicking played critical roles in securing the upset.
Defense is the best offense
NC State’s head coach, Dave Doeren, has consistently emphasized the importance of winning the turnover battle, and the Pack delivered on that front during the game against Clemson. Two of NC State’s touchdowns came directly from turnovers, showcasing the strength of their defense. Safety Devan Boykin intercepted a pass from Clemson quarterback Cade Klubnik, which led to a 9-yard touchdown pass from quarterback MJ Morris to wide receiver Kevin “KC” Concepcion. Linebacker Payton Wilson also recorded his first career pick six in the third quarter, intercepting another pass from Klubnik and returning it 15 yards to the end zone. Additionally, Jaylon Scott’s forced fumble in the fourth quarter pushed the Tigers back 17 yards, preventing them from making up the deficit and forcing them to punt. The defensive prowess of NC State played a crucial role in securing the victory.
KC Concepcion carries offense
Freshman wide receiver Kevin “KC” Concepcion was a standout player for NC State, contributing significantly to the team’s victory. Concepcion recorded his third game of the season with at least 100 yards, showcasing his versatility and impact on the game. He contributed 51 rushing yards and 83 receiving yards, delivering two touchdown catches. Concepcion’s impressive performance was particularly crucial considering NC State’s offensive struggles throughout the game. The team finished with just 201 total yards, including only 20 passing yards at halftime. The offensive line protection was lacking, as evidenced by the multiple sacks on Morris and Armstrong. Concepcion and the defenders played a vital role in covering up these issues and ensuring victory.
Kicking comes up clutch
NC State’s consistent special teams efforts were once again influential in the game against Clemson. Place kicker Brayden Narveson played a crucial role in securing the victory with a 41-yard field goal in the second quarter, giving the Pack a 10-point lead. Narveson’s successful field goal streak continued, making it his seventh straight successful field goal this season. On the other hand, Clemson‘s place kicker, Jonathan Weitz, missed a 43-yard field goal attempt, highlighting the difference in kicking performances. While one field goal might not seem significant, it provided NC State with major momentum before halftime and ultimately contributed to their victory.
This victory by NC State against Clemson serves as a reminder of the unpredictability and excitement that college football brings. The result upends expectations, with Clemson, a perennial powerhouse, experiencing a rare down season, while NC State proves their ability to compete against top-tier teams. The win not only boosts the Pack’s confidence but also raises questions about Clemson‘s overall performance this season.
From a philosophical perspective, this upset highlights the concept of underdogs defying the odds. It serves as a reminder that in sports, as in life, success is not necessarily determined by reputation or preconceived notions but rather by the unfolding circumstances and the determination of the individuals involved. The NC State football team is a testament to this notion, showing that with resilience, dedication, and teamwork, anything is possible.
The victory by NC State serves as an inspiration to underdogs everywhere. It is a reminder to never underestimate one’s own capabilities and to seize opportunities when they present themselves. Whether it is in sports, academics, or any other pursuit, individuals should remember that hard work, dedication, and belief in oneself can lead to extraordinary achievements.
Furthermore, this victory should serve as a lesson to not become complacent or rely solely on past achievements or reputations. In the world of sports, as in life, there is always room for improvement and growth. Clemson, despite their historic success, must now reevaluate their strategies, address their weaknesses, and work towards a resurgence. Similarly, other teams, organizations, and individuals should always strive for self-improvement, even in the face of adversity or previous successes.
In conclusion, the NC State football team’s victory over Clemson is a testament to the spirit of competition, the importance of resilience, and the ability to defy expectations. It reminds us that in the world of sports and beyond, no obstacle is insurmountable, and success is within reach for those who are willing to put in the effort and believe in themselves.
<< photo by Andrea Piacquadio >>
The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.
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