RALEIGH, N.C. — Brent Venables was noticeably upset on Saturday, and it had nothing to do with No. 9 Clemson’s 27-21 overtime loss to NC State at Carter-Finley Stadium.
Clemson (2-2, 1-1 ACC) already came into the contest without defensive tackle Tyler Davis, who is out for seven to eight weeks with a bicep tear. Then it lost linebacker James Skalski and defensive tackle Bryan Bresee to injury during the contest, as well as reserve defensive end Justin Mascoll after he suffered a lower leg injury early in the game.
But when Clemson’s defensive coordinator was asked specifically on what the injuries to Bresee and Skalski meant to his defense, especially in a game where the Wolfpack ran 96 offensive plays, he paused without saying anything for about five seconds. It even appeared he got a little teary eyed while trying to answer the question.
“You hurt for them,” Venables said. “I know how hard they work and how they love to compete and love their brothers and love the game. You hate that for them. But we have good young talented guys and that gave them an opportunity to step up, and I was proud of their efforts as well.”
Skalski injured his left shoulder in the second quarter. He tried to re-enter the game on the next series, but he eventually left the game for good before halftime.
Bresee was injured on the Wolfpack’s second possession of the second half. The sophomore, who was a preseason All-American, appeared to be nursing his left knee before heading into the locker room. He did not return.
The offense suffered a loss, as well, when freshman running back Will Shipley injured his left knee in the first overtime.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said he does not have an update on the injuries at this time.
Football season has finally arrived. Time to represent your Tigers and show your stripes!