Zac Brooks

No. 3 Clemson pulls away from N.C. State; now turns page toward Noles


Three third-quarter touchdowns, including two thrown by quarterback Deshaun Watson, helped No. 3 Clemson (8-0, 5-0 ACC) pull away on the road against upset-minded N.C. State (5-3, 1-3 ACC). The 56-41 victory helped set-up the ACC’s game of the year next week against Florida State.

Watson had himself a ballgame that may get him into the Heisman Trophy conversation. Watson passed for 383 yards and five touchdowns, and he rushed for 54 yards and another score to lead Clemson’s offense to the win. Running back Wayne Gallman had a huge game on he ground, with 173 rushing yards and a touchdown.

What was a fairly balanced game in the first half slanted in favor of Clemson in the second half, although the Wolfpack made an attempt to hang around and keep the pressure on. Clemson handled it well though. Clemson ended the day with 623 yards of offense, while holding N.C. State to 254 yards.

Clemson took advantage of a late opportunity before halftime to snag the lead against North Carolina State. A missed field goal by N.C. State gave Clemson a chance to string two big plays together for a late touchdown, giving the Tigers a six-point lead at the halftime instead of a one or four-point deficit. even if N.C. State did go to the break down, the Tigers were likely to break out in a big way in the second half, and they did just that. Clemson put together three touchdown drives in the third quarter, each driving at least 75 yards. Watson threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Deon Cain to put the Tigers up by two scores, 40-27 and tossed a 35-yard touchdown later in the third quarter to Zac Brooks for a 20-point advantage.

Now, undefeated Clemson will start turning a page toward their biggest game of the 2015 season. As is typically the case, Clemson and Florida State will likely decide which teams will go on to win the Atlantic Division and give the ACC its best chance to be represented in the College Football Playoff. Florida State has won the last three meetings between the two rivals. The winner of this game has gone on to play for the ACC championship each of the past five seasons, and the odds are incredibly good that trend will continue. Florida State has already lost a game in conference play, but would hold a tiebreaker against Clemson if each finished with one conference loss, Clemson’s being to Florida State. Clemson would clinch the ACC Atlantic Division with a win before even getting to games against Syracuse and Wake Forest to wrap up ACC play.

N.C. State will look to rebound next week on the road when the Wolfpack take on Boston College. Boston College lost their fifth straight game Saturday, this one against Virginia Tech. Boston College now must win each of their remaining games in order to become bowl eligible.

Report: Former Alabama RB Kamara visited Clemson

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Clemson is hosting former Alabama running back Alvin Kamara according to multiple reports Saturday, first reported by 247 Sports.

Kamara was granted a release from his scholarship in mid-January after previously being suspended from Alabama’s Sugar Bowl appearance. Kamara also sat out an earlier game against LSU due to a violation of team rules, although he never played a down for the Crimson Tide in the 2013 season anyway. The former four-star recruit is not allowed to transfer to any other SEC program, which helped make Clemson one of the favorites form the start for his transfer options.

Clemson is losing their top two rushers from the 2013 season with Roderick McDowell and quarterback Tajh Boyd graduating. As it stands at the moment, Clemson’s leading rusher returning in 2014 is sophomore Zac Brooks, who all be a junior in 2014. Brooks rushed for 246 yards and two touchdowns in 2013. D.J. Howard rushed for 213 yards and two touchdowns as a junior in 2013 as well.

Although Kamara did not play for Alabama in 2013, NCAA transfer rules would keep him out of action in 2014 if he transfers to another FBS program. He may play right away in 2014 if he ends up at an FCS or lower level program. Florida State, Oklahoma State and UCLA were previously reported to be options for Kamara.