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Quick hits from NC State's loss to Clemson

Quick hits and notes from NC State football’s 55-10 loss to No. 5 Clemson in front of 57,886 fans at Carter-Finley Stadium on a cold Saturday evening in Raleigh.

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Offensive Issues

NC State finished Saturday with 13 first downs, three of which came from penalties, and 290 total yards. That was slightly more than the 265 yards is mustered in Winston-Salem against Wake Forest the previous Saturday.

The Pack has yet to achieve at least 400 yards of total offense since it eclipsed 500 yards in its first two contests. For the season, NCSU is now averaging 354.1 yards per game. If that held, it would be the lowest output in a season since the 2011 squad, with future NFL quarterback Mike Glennon in his first year as a starter, had 344.8 yards a contest.

NC State’s streak of averaging at least 400 yards per game appears to be in serious jeopardy of ending at eight straight seasons.

The Freshmen's Turn

A rundown of all the freshmen playing prominent roles Saturday:

• Redshirt freshman quarterback Devin Leary was 14-of-29 passing for 166 yards.

• True freshman Zonovan Knight had his second career 100-yard rushing game with 12 rushes for 139 yards, including a 55-yard TD. His classmate Jordan Houston struggled with seven runs that resulted in a net loss of 15 yards and a costly first quarter fumble, but he also caught a 19-yard screen pass.

Redshirt freshman running back Trent Pennix ran once for five yards and had a 16-yard catch.

• Redshirt freshman receiver Devin Carter caught a pair of passes for 27 yards.

• Two true freshmen started on the offensive line: left guard Ikem Ekwonu and left guard Dylan McMahon.

• Three freshmen started at linebacker: redshirts Payton Wilson and Calvin Hart and true freshman Drake Thomas. Hart had seven tackles, including 1.5 for loss. Thomas had six tackles, one for a loss. Wilson had two tackles before leaving with an injury in the first half.

Due to injuries, true freshman Jaylon Scott was pressed into action and had a pair of tackles.

• True freshman safety Jakeen Harris added six tackles. Also in the secondary, redshirt freshman Malik Dunlap broke up a pass, and true freshman Cecil Powell had four tackles.

Kickers Still Shining

Sophomore Christopher Dunn made his one field goal try, a 46-yarder that was a season long. Dunn is now 16 of 19 for the year, including 4 of 5 on field goals of 40-49 yards. Combined with last season, Dunn has made 39 of 45 field goals with a long of 49 yards.

Dunn is already one away from tying John Deraney (2003-06) for sixth most field goals in program history.

At punter, redshirt sophomore Trenton Gill averaged 52.2 yards on five boots, dropping two inside the 20. That was the seventh best average in a single game in school history. Gill is now averaging 47.6 yards per punt this year, which would be a new school record if it held.

Spotted At The Game

NFL scouts from the Jets, Giants, Dolphins, Ravens, Texans, Eagles and Bills were credentialed for the game.

The baseball and wrestling teams were honored on the field during the first half.

True Freshmen Vs. Redshirt Freshmen Watch

We’ll keep a rundown in quick hits of how many games the Wolfpack true freshmen have played. They can see action in four games before burning their redshirt. An asterisk means they participated against Clemson.

Defensive tackle Joshua Harris and guard Dylan McMahon are one game away from losing the redshirt.

• Offensive lineman Ikem Ekwonu — 9 games* (burned redshirt)

• Running back Jordan Houston — 9 games* (burned redshirt)

• Running back Zonovan Knight — 9 games* (burned redshirt)

• Receiver Keyon Lesane — 9 games* (burned redshirt)

• Long snapper Joe Shimko — 9 games* (burned redshirt)

• Linebacker Drake Thomas — 9 games* (burned redshirt)

• Safety Jakeen Harris — 8 games* (burned redshirt)

• Defensive end Savion Jackson — 7 games* (burned redshirt)

• Defensive back Cecil Powell — 7 games* (burned redshirt)

• Defensive tackle Joshua Harris — 4 games*

• Offensive lineman Dylan McMahon — 4 games*

• Linebacker Jaylon Scott — 3 games*

• Safety Khalid Martin — 2 games

• Cornerback Shyheim Battle — 2 games*

• Defensive tackle C.J. Clark — 1 game

• Defensive end Terrell Dawkins — 1 game

• Nickel Jalen Frazier — 1 game

What The Loss Means

NC State is 4-5 overall and 1-4 in the ACC, and Clemson is 9-0 and 7-0. The Tigers have clinched a spot in the ACC title game after Wake Forest lost at Virginia Tech earlier in the afternoon.

The Tigers lead the all-time series 59-28-1 and is 22-16 in games played in Raleigh.

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