Clemson’s loss at North Carolina State on Saturday ended in double overtime, though it looked like the Tigers were in position to take it to a third.
After the Wolfpack scored a touchdown to start the second overtime (the two-point conversion failed), Clemson needed just 5 yards facing a do-or-die fourth down from N.C. State’s 20-yard line for a fresh set of downs. Instead, the Tigers went for it all when D.J. Uiagalelei lofted a pass toward Justyn Ross on the outside.
Ross, who hauled in two touchdown catches earlier, had a step on Wolfpack cornerback Tyler Baker-Williams and seemed to be tracking the ball as he approached the goal line. But Ross never extended his arms as the ball went over his head and landed incomplete just short of the goal line, triggering a storming of the field by the N.C. State fans in attendance.
Tony Elliott said Monday he hadn’t yet spoken to Ross about the final play since players are given Sunday off, but Clemson’s offensive coordinator gave his thoughts on what may have occurred.
“We don’t get (the players) until this afternoon to find out exactly what happened,” Elliott said. “It looked like he was being held on his left shoulder, so I don’t know if he could get his left arm up. But not sure what happened with his right hand.”
As of Monday morning, Uiagalalei said he hadn’t talked with Ross about the play either.
“But I just know from my perspective if he can’t put a hand on the ball, that’s on me right there. I’ve got to throw a better ball to where he can be able to put his hand on it and be able to touch the ball. From what I’ve been watching about it and watching the play, he didn’t get his hand on the ball. And that’s on me. I take full responsibility.”
Football season has finally arrived. Time to represent your Tigers and show your stripes!