There’s an previous adage in sports activities: Typically, it is higher to be fortunate than good. There’s reality in that, for certain.
Put them collectively, and the confluence of the 2 usually produces stunning outcomes.
Simply ask N.C. State, which was each Saturday in knocking off No. 9 Clemson 27-21 in double extra time and handing the Tigers their second loss in 4 weeks. The consequence additionally blew the race for the ACC title huge open.
N.C. State made a defensive cease on fourth-and-5 within the second OT to seal the sport and drop Clemson to 2-2 (1-1 ACC) on the season.
Whereas the Tigers’ struggles are an anomaly within the context of current seasons beneath coach Dabo Swinney, they have been widespread within the 2021 season, one thing Swinney readily admitted after Saturday’s loss.
Dabo Swinney: “It’s been a very long time. It’s been a very long time since we’ve been in a scenario like this for certain.”
— Grace Raynor (@gmraynor) September 25, 2021
The scenario, as Swinney alluded to, is that this: Clemson has two regular-season losses for the primary time since 2014.
Date of Clemson’s second loss
2020: Jan. 1
2019: By no means
2018: By no means
2017: Jan. 1
2016: By no means
2015: By no means
2021: Sept. 25
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) September 26, 2021
That was the final 12 months Clemson missed the Faculty Soccer Playoff. The Tigers are 81-9 because the begin of the 2015 season with two CFP nationwide championships and one other two nationwide title sport berths. So it is clear what the usual has grow to be at Clemson.
It is also clear to Swinney that this 12 months’s version of the Tigers is nowhere close to that.
Dabo: “With the best way we’ve carried out, you’re gonna get criticism and also you’re gonna get feedback and issues like that and what? That comes with the territory as a result of the expectation and the usual at Clemson, who we’re, we’re not assembly that. (CONT)
— Grace Raynor (@gmraynor) September 26, 2021
Some extra context to a loss that may virtually absolutely drop the Tigers out of the top 10 and sure out of playoff consideration:
- The Tigers had received 36 consecutive video games towards unranked opponents earlier than Saturday. Their final loss to an unranked workforce was a 27-24 defeat at Syracuse in 2017.
- Clemson had received 36 consecutive video games within the ACC previous to a loss final 12 months at Notre Dame.
- N.C. State’s win was its first over the Tigers since 2011 and simply its second since 2003 in a collection Clemson leads 59-29-1 all time.
The offense has scored 38 factors in three video games towards FBS competitors this season, beginning with only a area purpose in a 10-3 loss to Georgia in Week 1. It managed simply 14 final week in a win over Georgia Tech. It failed to realize 300 web yards in any of these contests, together with simply 214 towards N.C. State. In line with ESPN, the Tigers had no video games beneath 300 from 2018-20.
These offensive anomalies create a collection of questions: Is DJ Uiagalelei nonetheless the reply at quarterback? How can the Tigers get extra massive performs from junior receiver Justyn Ross (9.9 yards per reception)? What is going to the coaches do at operating again after Will Shipley suffered a knee harm Saturday?
Clemson has quite a bit to determine because it appears up at Wake Forest, Louisville and N.C. State within the ACC’s Atlantic Division. The primary try at getting again on monitor will happen subsequent week when the Tigers tackle 4-0 Boston Faculty at dwelling.