RALEIGH, N.C. — There are a lot of people to praise in fourth-ranked Clemson’s come-from-behind victory over No. 20 NC State Saturday in Raleigh, N.C.
It was an afternoon in which the Clemson offense grew up before our eyes. Despite a rocky start to the game, the Tigers managed to finish the game with 415 total yards, including 224 on the ground.
Here are this week’s helmet sticker honorees:
Ray-Ray McCloud: Following the game, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said McCloud was worthy of wearing the No. 21 jersey because he had a ‘Deion Sanders’ type of game. McCloud returned a punt 77 yards for a touchdown in Sanders-like-fashion in the first quarter. He also played wide receiver for the Tigers and at the end of that game played some at cornerback following an injury to A.J. Terrell. McCloud switched to the No. 21 jersey before the game in case he was needed in the secondary due to the fact linebacker Kendall Joseph wears the No. 34 on defense. Two players cannot wear the same jersey number on the field at the same time.
Tavien Feaster: Feaster had one of his better games of his career as the sophomore went over 100 yards for the first time as a Clemson Tiger. His 89-yard run to end the third quarter was the longest touchdown run by a Clemson player since Derrick Witherspoon did the same in 1993 against Maryland. The touchdown run at the time gave the Tigers a 31-21 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Feaster also did a great job blocking for quarterback Kelly Bryant on designed runs as well as picking up blitzes as NC State’s vaunted defensive front did not record a single sack.
Deon Cain: The junior wide receiver had his best game of the season at the best time for Clemson. Not only did he catch a career-high nine passes, but he also drew two pass interference penalties, which led to Clemson scores in the first half. Cain finished the game with 84 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown reception which gave the Tigers their first lead, 24-21, with 3:31 remaining in the third quarter.
Hunter Renfrow: The junior finished the game with four catches for 33 yards and no touchdowns. But with one play in the fourth quarter, Renfrow did so much more. Following a Ryan Carter interception at the NC State 27 with 9:34 to play in the game, Clemson found itself in a fourth down-and-five situation at the NC State 22. With kicker Alex Spence still struggling with consistency, Swinney rolled the dice as Bryant made an accurate throw to Renfrow near the Clemson sideline. Renfrow caught the ball a yard short of the first down, but with a defender tugging at his jersey and desperately trying to bring him down, Renfrow broke the would-be-tackle and ran for a 16-yard gain to the NC State six. Three plays later on third-and-goal from the one, Bryant ran the ball into the end zone for what proved to be the game-winning score. However, it would not have happened without Renfrow’s determination to get the first down.
K’Von Wallace: With Tanner Muse struggling due to an injury he suffered to his hand last week, and freshman Isaiah Simmons being beaten at times in coverage, defensive coordinator Brent Venables moved Van Smith to free safety and moved Wallace over to strong. The decision paid off on the game’s last drive as Wallace ran over to break up what looked like a sure touchdown pass to Jaylen Samuels near the goal line, and then a play later he ended the game with an interception at the 9-yard line to secure the Tigers’ victory. He was also credited with two tackles.