Sept. 13, 2008
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CLEMSON, S.C. (AP)–Cullen Harper overcame several mistakes and threw for 262 yards and two touchdowns in leading Clemson to a 27-9 victory over North Carolina State on Saturday.
Harper, who threw an interception for a touchdown on the opening play, fumbled in the second half and missed a few open receivers, ended up completing 20 of 28 passes. Jacoby Ford caught six passes for 106 yards for the Tigers (2-1) in the ACC opener for both teams.
C.J. Spiller ran for 61 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. He also caught a scoring pass, giving him six TDs for the season.
The Wolfpack (1-2) leave the state of South Carolina without scoring an offensive touchdown after being shut out 34-0 to open the season at South Carolina. They now haven’t scored a TD on offense against a BCS team in 13 straight quarters going back to last year.
N.C. State gained 288 yards against a unit that has allowed an average of 423 yards a game this season.
Ford was the Tigers’ best weapon on offense. He caught a touchdown pass and ran twice for 48 yards. Aaron Kelly caught seven passes for 94 yards and James Davis ran 14 times for 34 yards.
Clemson used a patchwork offensive line that included three freshman starters. Harper wasn’t sacked and was rarely pressured, although a number of his passes came quickly after the snap.
Harper threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Ford on the Tigers first possession and had a 28-yard TD to Spiller midway through the second quarter. Spiller’s 12-yard dash to the corner of the end zone in the fourth quarter ended the scoring.
N.C. State’s only touchdown came when linebacker Nate Irving picked off Harper’s pass on the first play from scrimmage and returned it 33 yards. Kicker Josh Czajkowski missed the point after, and missed a 26-yard field goal on N.C. State’s opening possession of the second half. He kicked a 22-yard field goal in the third quarter.
Wolfpack freshman quarterback Russell Wilson was 10-of-21 for 92 yards.
Andre Brown led N.C. State with 64 yards rushing on 14 carries. He also caught four passes for 51 yards.
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