Opponent Preview – Week 9 – NC State Wolfpack

Well, it can’t get any worse, can it?  The Tigers followed up the bye week saying all of the right things, only to lose in double overtime to an under-manned Miami Hurricanes team down in Miami.  

Clemson looks to right the wrongs in a match-up with NC State this weekend in Raleigh.

Here is a look at everything you will need to know about the Tiger’s Week 9 Opponent:

North Carolina State Wolfpack

Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

Time: 2 PM on CW

2023 Record – 4-3; 1-2 in the ACC  Last Game: Loss vs. Duke (10/14) 24-3

4 Wins against: Virginia, Marshall, VMI, UConn

3 Losses against: Duke, Notre Dame, Louisville

Head Coach: Dave Doeren – 11th Season – 103-63 overall

Coach Doeren has quickly become a coach that Clemson fans love to hate.  Seemingly always complaining about something, i.e. the laptop on the sideline, towel gate, etc.  Doeren has a tough exterior and his teams take on his identity and always seem to play hard for him.  Never really able to get over the top in the ACC, he has been a solid middle-tier head coach in the conference for a decade plus.


Offensive Coordinator: Robert Anae – 1st year as OC;  (Previous: Syracuse)

Coach Anae comes to Raleigh after a quick stint in Syracuse following a longer stint at Virginia.  Anae has always had a decent quarterback to run his offense.  An offense predicated on running the football and the use of a ton of screens as well.  He had (current NC State Backup QB) Brennan Armstrong at UVA in which he produced video-game numbers there.  He was also responsible for the success of former Syracuse running back Sean Tucker.  Anae is very creative and has some tricks up his sleeves at times as well.  Expect QB involvement in the run game as well.    

NC State is averaging 25.4 points per game (85th nationally) with 143.3 yards per game rushing (79th nationally) and 204.1 through the air (95th nationally) for an average of 347.4 yards of offense through 8 weeks, good enough for 97th nationally in total offense.

Here is a look at the projected starters for the NC State Wolfpack as well as their 2023 statistics:

QuarterbackMJ MorrisSophomore#720 att. 82 yds.41-72; 458 yds, 4 TDs, 4 ints.
Running BackMichael AllenSophomore#223 att. 230 yds, TD9 catches, 43 yds
Running BackDelbert Mimms IIIRS Junior#3451 att. 171 yds, 6 TDs2 catches
Running BackKendrick RaphaelFreshman#2023 att. 116 yds. 4 catches, 23 yds
Wide ReceiverTerrell Timmons Jr.Sophomore#829 catches, 172 yds.
Wide ReceiverKC ConcepcionFreshman#105 att. 39 yds.37 catches, 410 yds, 4 TDs
Wide ReceiverKeyon LesaneSenior#153 att. 20 yds15 catches, 108 yds.
Tight EndTrent PennixGraduate#61 att. 7 yds.11 catches, 136 yds, 2 TDs
Left TackleAnthony BeltonRS Junior#74
Left GuardLyndon CooperRS Sophomore#56
CenterDylan McMahonGraduate#54
Right GuardDerrick EasonGraduate#53
Right TackleTimothy McKayGraduate#52


Defensive Coordinator: Tony Gibson – 4th Year – (Previous: West Virginia DC)

Coach Gibson enters his fourth season in Raleigh and runs a defense a lot like Clemson fans saw against Wake Forest a few weeks ago.  A big fan of the 3-3-5 defense with a Cloud Scheme where they will refuse to be beaten over the top and force the Tigers to run the football.  Gibson was quoted in the preseason that this is the best defensive front he’s had at NC State in terms of depth.  Pair that with the bend don’t break defense and that’s a tough recipe for Clemson to face this weekend. 

The NC State defense has given up an average of 23.6 points through their first six games (55th nationally).  They have given up 110.9 yards per game on the ground (26th nationally) and 222 yards through the air (62nd nationally).  Opponents are averaging a total of 332.9 yards per game (33rd nationally).

The Wolfpack are +1 in turnover margin through six games (T-53rd nationally), having thrown 10 interceptions and also picking off 8 balls, as well as having caused 4 fumbles and have lost 1 fumbles in the seven games so far.  

Here is a look at the projected starters for the Wolfpack on defense along with some stats from the season:

Defensive EndDavin VannJunior#123 tackles, 4.5 TFLs, 3.5 sacks
Nose TackleCJ ClarkRS Junior#514 tackles, 2 TFLs
Defensive EndSavion JacksonSenior#920 tackles, 3 TFLs, 0.5 sack
LinebackerJaylon ScottSenior#236 tackles, 3.5 TFLs, 1 sack
LinebackerDevon BettyJunior#2617 tackles, TFL
LinebackerPeyton WilsonGraduate#1181 tackles, 7.5 TFLs, 4 sacks, int.
NickelbackRobert Kennedy (Lackawanna College)Graduate Transfer#820 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, 1.5 sacks, 2 ints.
CornerbackShyheim BattleRS Junior#723 tackles, TFL, 2 ints.
Strong SafetyDevan BoykinJunior#1227 tackles, 2 TFLs
Free SafetySean BrownRS Sophomore#035 tackles, 3 TFLs, 2 sacks, int.
CornerbackAydan WhiteJunior#314 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, sack, int

Special Teams 

Here is a list of the specialists for the Wolfpack along with statistics from the season so far:

KickerBrayden Narveson (Iowa State)Graduate Transfer#448-10 long of 57 yds. 
PunterCaden NoonkesterRS Sophomore#9840 att. 42.6 yd avg. long of 67 yds
Punt ReturnerJalen CoitRS Sophomore#2111 att. 13.7 avg. long of 33 yds
Kick ReturnerJulian GrayRS Sophomre#814 att. 28.6 avg. TD,  long of 82 yds


NC State is not as great as they have been in years past.  They started out playing the UVA transfer Brennan Armstrong at quarterback and it was an utter disaster.  They have replaced him with backup MJ Morris, who has some experience under his belt from a season ago.  

The defense is still feisty and the leader Peyton Wilson is still patrolling the weak side at the linebacking position.  He’s a load to block and flies to the ball.  The Pack is a paltry 4-3 on the season includine 1-2 in the ACC, but their losses this season have come to what we believe to be good teams, Notre Dame, Louisville and Duke.  

Coach Doeren always has his teams ready to play Clemson, and this weekend will likely be no different.  Clemson needs to get something going offensively to right the season.  Here’s to hoping that starts this weekend in Raleigh.  

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