TCI hands out a handful of helmet stickers to some of third-ranked Clemson’s top performers from its 24-17 overtime victory over NC State on Saturday…
Clemson’s top receiver showcased what makes him a go-to option on the perimeter in Saturday’s victory. Williams led all wideouts in the game with a career-high 12 catches on a whopping 15 targets, amassing 146 receiving yards along the way—the third-best receiving yardage day of his career. He also snagged a 13-yard touchdown pass that capped a ten-play drive right before halftime to put Clemson on top by a score. The veteran converted on a pair of third downs in the contest and nearly converted a third, setting the Tigers up for a fourth-and-short run in overtime that eventually led to the winning touchdown. Williams’ fumble inside the 5 didn’t cost Clemson, either (although it could have).
When Clemson needed Watson, he stepped up and played the way elite competitors do. For the game, he was 39-for-52 passing for 378 yards and two touchdowns. Right after leading the Tigers on a scoring drive before the half, Watson began the third quarter by throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown. He atoned for that miscue, however. Watson completed 21 of his last 26 passes after the interception, including a string of 14 consecutive completions that earned the Clemson offense 149 yards through the air.
The defensive side of the football could not contain the 310-pound Wilkins in this one. Wilkins had a role in three of the biggest plays of Saturday’s game. He was credited for his first career rushing attempt when he rumbled for ten yards on a fake punt on fourth-and-short that gave the Tigers a fresh set of downs. He blocked a 37-yard field goal in the third quarter that was no doubt in the mind of Wolfpack kicker Kyle Bambard’s mind when he missed from 33 yards out on the final play of regulation. Wilkins also entered the game as a lead blocker in Clemson’s jumbo package on fourth-and-short in overtime, helping pave the way for a two-yard C.J. Fuller run that set up the Tigers’ final touchdown. For the game, Wilkins had four tackles and a quarterback pressure.
The former walk-on made his triumphant return to the field after missing about a month with a wrist injury. Before exiting Saturday’s contest in the fourth quarter with an injury, Renfrow was as valuable as anyone on Clemson’s offense. The sophomore had six catches on seven targets—both tied for second on the team—for 53 yards. Other guys had similar stat lines, but Renfrow’s presence and contributions seemed to fire up the home crowd—just as his injury seemed to suck the life out of the stadium.
Scott had a fairly nondescript day in general, catching four passes for 23 yards. He dropped a key pass in the third quarter when Clemson’s offense was sputtering. However, Scott redeemed himself with a pair of catches in overtime—a six-yard reception on the same route he ran when he dropped the ball earlier, then a ten-yard slant into the end zone that gave the Tigers their final touchdown of the game.
–Photo Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports