Edmond saves Tigers, again

Edmond saves Tigers, again


Edmond saves Tigers, again

Marcus Edmond made a diving interception on Ryan Finley’s pass to the end zone on NC State’s first possession of overtime sealing No. 3 Clemson’s 24-17 overtime victory over NC State on Saturday. Edmond out jumped Wolfpack receiver Bra’Lon Cherry for the ball at the last second, causing his teammates to mob him in the end zone as the Tigers celebrated their 20th straight victory in Death Valley.

It was a crazy turn of events for Clemson (7-0, 4-0 ACC) who 15-minutes earlier were on the brink of losing their first regular-season game in almost two years as NC State kicker Kyle Bambard lined up for a 33-yard kick with two seconds left. However, Bambard’s kick was wide right, sending the game into overtime and Death Valley into celebration.

In overtime, Clemson faced a fourth-and-one from the ‘Pack 16. Head coach Dabo Swinney decided to go for it, and called for his jumbo package as C.J. Fuller plowed ahead for two yards and a first down. The Tigers then moved the ball to one-yard line on a pass to Jordan Leggett, but on first-and-goal, the snap popped off Deshaun Watson’s hands, but the quarterback covered it up at the 10.

On the next play, Watson hit Artavis Scott on a skinny post in the end zone to give the Tigers’ a 24-17 lead, and for what turned out to be the game-winning score.

On its only possession of overtime, State (4-2, 1-1 ACC) went for the tying touchdown, but Edmond timed the pass perfectly, giving him his second game-winning play of the season. He also had the game-winning tackle in the Tigers’ win over No. 7 Louisville two weeks ago.

Christian Wilkins, who earlier ran for a first down on a fake punt, blocked Kyle Bambard’s 37-yard field goal with 4:49 to play in the third quarter. The block sparked the Clemson offense as Watson guided the Tigers on a 10-play, 77-yard drive that he capped with a four-yard run in which he broke through two would-be-tacklers.

Watson’s touchdown gave the Tigers a 17-10 lead with 1:03 to play in the third quarter.

However, Finley led the Wolfpack back down the field to the tie game. Matt Dayes went in from two yards out with 11:29 to play to even the score at 17. The drive was kept alive when K’Von Wallace was charged with pass interference on a fourth-and-six the Clemson 30.

Clemson took nearly five minutes off the clock on its next possession but back-to-back holding penalties on Jordan Leggett and Jake Fruhmorgen bogged down the drive, turning it back over to NC State with 6:48 to play.

The Wolfpack then drove all the way to the Clemson 16, where they lined up for the game-winning kick with two second to play. However, Bambard’s game-winning attempt went wide.

State’s Mike Stevens tied the game, 10-10, early in the third quarter when he returned a Watson pass 28 yards for a touchdown with 14:51 to play in the quarter.

Clemson turned the ball over four times, twice inside the 10-yard line. It was held on a fourth-and-one play from the State one-yard line in the second quarter.

Watson finished the game with 413 total yards and three touchdowns. He threw for 378 yards on 39 of 52 passing with two touchdowns and one interception.

Williams had 12 receptions for a career-high 146 yards. C.J. Fuller led Clemson with 56 yards on the ground after he came in for an injured Wayne Gallman, who was injured on the opening drive of the game.


Photo Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports


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