RALEIGH, N.C. — There is just something about playing in Raleigh that brings out the intensity in the Clemson-NC State game.
Two years ago, there was the controversy about Clemson’s social media team having a laptop on the sideline that sent NC State head coach Dave Doeren into a frenzy in his post-game press conference. That led to a little back-and-forth between Doren and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney.
In that same game, former Wolfpack defensive end Bradley Chubb repeatedly took Kelly Bryant’s hand towel before the head referee had to ask him to stop.
In 2015, an NC State assistant coach shoved Deshaun Watson after the Clemson quarterback ran out of bounds on the Wolfpack sideline. In 2013, former Clemson offensive lineman Isaiah Battle punched an NC State player near the end of the game.
Now, they can add the “frosty handshake” between the two coaches following Saturday’s 55-10 Clemson victory at Carter-Finley Stadium.
“A frosty handshake? Yeah, it was freaking 30 degrees,” Swinney said afterward. “There is nothing. What kind of question is that?”
There was something, as the video of the post-game exchange from the two coaches shows.
Maybe the animosity was from Clemson’s last drive, which ended with a 1-yard Michel Dukes touchdown with 11 seconds left in the game. However, Dukes’ touchdown was not the issue. For some reason, after Dukes ran for three yards to the State 1, Doeren called a timeout with 22 seconds to play.
Some speculate if Doeren called a timeout in hopes of getting the ball back to get the necessary 15 yards to become the first team this year to total 300 yards on the Tigers’ defense.
Regardless of why, Swinney came out of the timeout throwing the ball, as backup quarterback Chase Brice threw and incomplete pass to Swinney’s son, Will.
On the next play, Dukes ran the ball in from the 1-yard line.
“As far as them trying to score there at the end, is that what you are referring to? I don’t really have a lot to say about it,” Doeren said. “I am not sure if it was their thirds or fourths in the game. We have to try and stop them. Obviously, as a coach, it is not something you like to see happen, but I have done the same thing in the past. You put the backups in, and you let them play football. So, it is what it is.”
Swinney insisted there is no animosity between the two head coaches.
“What was frosty about a handshake. ‘Great game. Good luck the rest of the way,’” the Clemson coach said. “Most times I don’t hardly get to spend ten seconds with a coach. It’s quick. If you are at Clemson, it is a mad dash to the Paw to sing the alma mater. That is not … Dave and I have a great relationship. That is just a question trying to create something.
“It was not frosty. There was not anything frosty. ‘Great game. Good luck the rest of the way. Go win it.’ There is nothing. He was very nice. I was very nice. In a game like that you really just want … you are not going to stand out there and sing kumbaya. I have been on both sides of it. Nobody wants to chitchat. You want to kind of get on with it, especially with it … I don’t know even how cold it was, but it was cold.”
–NC State video courtesy of Pack Pride
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