Though Clemson and NC State first started playing against each other in 1899, it was not much of a rivalry on the football field until the late 1960s.
Of course there is “The Orange Shoes Game” in 1967 and then there were a few classics in the late 1970s between the two ACC rivals as well. The rivalry really picked up steam in the 1980s when Dick Sheridan’s teams knocked off the Tigers three straight years from 1986-’87.
Lately, it has not been much of a rivalry. Clemson has won five straight overall and 12 of the last 13 in the series. Since 1996, Clemson has won 17 of the last 22 meetings.
Overall, the Tigers lead the series 57-28-1.
November 18, 1967— Clemson painted its shoes orange for the NC State game and the Tigers upset the 10th-ranked Wolfpack, 14-6. Clemson clinched a tie for the ACC championship with the victory, the sixth and final ACC title of Frank Howard’s celebrated career. The Tigers had to get the orange paint from eight stores in the area. N.C. State’s defense had worn white shoes all season and that was the reason for the ploy.
October 21, 1989 – Clemson snapped a three-game losing streak to NC State with a 30-10 victory in Death Valley. The Tigers came down the hill in all-Orange and never trailed in the game. The Wolfpack came into the game ranked No. 12 in the country and 6-0.
October 26, 1991 — Clemson wore purple jerseys for the first time since the 1930s in a 29-19 victory over No. 10 NC State. The 18th-ranked Tigers were led by freshman Nelson Welch, who kicked a Clemson record five field goals. Clemson scored its first touchdown on a fake field goal as Rudy Harris ran three yards for a score.
September 13, 1997 — Matt Padgett kicked a 20-yard field goal with 19 seconds left to give Clemson a 19-17 win at NC State. Nealon Greene became the first quarterback in school history to have consecutive 250-yard passing games. The senior also had 76 yards rushing. His 336 total yards of offense were the second most in Clemson history.
October 13, 2001 – Two weeks and one game after gaining 418 yards of total offense at Georgia Tech, Woodrow Dantzler trumped that performance with a 517-yard day at N.C. State. Dantzler broke numerous Clemson records in completing 23-27 passes for 333 yards and four scores. He also rushed 23 times for 184 yards and two scores. The six touchdowns and 517 yards were Clemson single-game marks. Dantzler went over 4,000 career yards passing and 2,000 yards rushing in the game, the first player in ACC history to do both.
October 13, 2005 — Clemson won its first-ever Thursday night ESPN game in a 31-10 victory at N.C. State. Freshman James Davis ran through a defense that had three starters who would be drafted in the first round by the NFL the following April. Davis had 143 yards and scored two touchdowns on just 12 carries before suffering a broken wrist in the third quarter. Charlie Whitehurst completed 22-31 passes for 246 yards.
November 14, 2009 — C.J. Spiller threw a touchdown pass, caught a touchdown pass, and rushed for a touchdown in Clemson’s 43-23 win at N.C. State. Kyle Parker won the battle of quarterbacks (over Russell Wilson) who would be drafted by the Colorado Rockies the following June by completing 12-18 passes for 183 yards and two scores.
November 17, 2012 – Clemson and NC State played in the most prolific game in Memorial Stadium history when the two teams combined for 1,351 yards and 110 points in the Tigers 62-48 victory over NC State. The two marks bested the total’s set in Clemson’s 82-24 victory over Wake Forest in 1981. Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd also became the first player in ACC history to account for eight touchdowns in a game.
October 15, 2016 – The second-ranked Tigers needed a miracle to squeak past NC State 24-17 in overtime at Death Valley. The Wolfpack were a 33-yard field goal away at the end of regulation from quashing Clemson’s perfect start. Instead, Kyle Bambard pushed the kick right and sent most of the 82,104 at Death Valley into hysterics. The Tigers converted a fourth-and-1 in overtime to keep the drive going, and then Deshaun Watson connected with Artavis Scott on a go-ahead 10-yard TD pass. Marcus Edmond intercepted Wolfpack quarterback Ryan Finley’s deep thrown into the end zone to keep the Tigers undefeated on their way to win the program’s first national championship in 35 years.
November 4, 2017 – Tavien Feaster ran for an 89-yard touchdown to end the third quarter and K’Von Wallace picked off Ryan Finley on the final play to help Clemson beat No. 20 North Carolina State 38-31 in a battle of ranked teams. The win gave the sixth-ranked Tigers control of the ACC’s Atlantic Division.
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