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NC State loses to No. 3 Clemson 26-14

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 19, 2013 at 11:48 pm •  Published: September 19, 2013
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Shadrach Thornton scored the Wolfpack's first touchdown on a 21-yard run in the second quarter. N.C. State (2-1, 0-1) led 7-6 at that point but couldn't complete the upset.

The Tigers entered Raleigh with their highest ranking in 25 years and a prime spot in the national championship chase. They also came with memories of their inexplicably bad performance here two seasons earlier, when the Wolfpack scored 27 second-quarter points en route to a 37-13 rout of the then-No. 7 Tigers.

N.C. State followed that win with an upset of No. 3 Florida State here last year, and Doeren — the former Northern Illinois coach — said that history gave his veterans confidence they could do it again.

But N.C. State's hopes of beating a Top 10 team at home for the third straight season essentially ended in that frustrating sequence midway through the third.

The Underwood call led to boos raining down from the Carter-Finley Stadium stands and continued until after Bryant's second score made it 26-7 with 11:27 left.

Sam Cooper added an 11-yard touchdown catch with 2:23 left in the second quarter that gave the Tigers a 13-7 halftime lead they wouldn't relinquish.

Thomas threw for 213 yards on 20-for-36 passing for the Wolfpack. He ran for a 4-yard score to cap a 23-play scoring drive with 3:50 left.

N.C. State finished with 378 total yards, but failed to convert its first eight third-down tries and finished 3 for 16 for the game.

Clemson reserve left tackle Isaiah Battle was ejected for a late shove to the facemask of N.C. State's Jarvis Byrd with 1:33 left.

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Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap