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Joe Ovies

Talking Points: Pack's night ends up out of bounds

Posted September 20, 2013

Wide receiver Bryan Underwood (80) goes up to grab a pass during the Clemson vs. NC State game on September 19, 2013 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

1. Well, let's go ahead and get this out of the way first. "Bryan Underwood was in bounds" is the new "T.A. McLendon was in the end zone."

In the middle of the third quarter, Underwood streaked down the sideline for what appeared to be an 83-yard touchdown run. Carter-Finley Stadium went bonkers thinking NC State was about to be up 14-13 on Clemson. However, officials ruled Underwood out of bounds at the 47 yard line and the touchdown never happened.

Go ahead, have a look at the replay. Here's a looping GIF file and a collection of still photos for good measure.

NC State head coach Dave Doeren was blunt when asked if he had a decent look of the play in question.

"It was right in front of me, he didn't go out of bounds," Doeren said. "Unfortunately they blew it dead, so they couldn't review it. I know the guy felt bad about, but it's just the way it is."

Underwood was too focused on the goal line to remember where his feet were during the run.

"To be honest with you, my eyes were straight on the end zone," Underwood said. "I was just reading my blocks and just trying to use my speed to get past everybody."

Quarterback Pete Thomas wound up fumbling the ball after getting sacked by Clemson's Vic Beasley a few plays later. The Tigers scored on the following possession after Tajh Boyd hooked up with Martavis Bryant for a 30-yard touchdown. The Wolfpack was down 20-7 and the game eventually slipped away.

The out of bounds call was highly questionable at best or completely blown depending on your point of view, but it's important to note that what happened after was mutually exclusive to the ruling. Teams can overcome bad call. NC State still got 36 yards out of the run and moved into Clemson territory. The momentum killer came in the form of a fumble, not a dude in stripes.

2. NC State's defensive line did a good job keeping Boyd out of rhythm throughout the first half and chunks of the second half. 

The Wolfpack sacked Boyd twice and yielded only a field goal on the opening drive. The Tigers then punted and kicked another field goal to close out the first quarter. The defense held Boyd to 4-of-11 passing in the second quarter.

Boyd's first great sequence came with just under five minutes left in the half, when he converted a third down with a 28-yard throw to Sammy Watkins. Boyd converted a fourth down with his legs and finally threw a touchdown to Sam Cooper on a rollout. 

Boyd finished the night 24-of-37 for 244 yards and three touchdowns. Highlights of this game won't be used for his Heisman campaign, but Boyd managed to stay mistake free in the box score and that's ultimately what matters. 

3. Despite the defense stepping up early, NC State's offense was slower to get going. 

Underwood's other run-in with the sideline happened on the Wolfpack's opening drive, where a long rush was limited to 18 yards. On the next play from Clemson's 43-yard line, he couldn't bring down Thomas' throw near the end zone. NC State only mustered 34 yards of total offense in the first quarter. 

Shadrach Thorton powered through Clemson's defense for a 21-yard rushing touchdown to open up the second quarter. NC State wouldn't get on the board again until the fourth quarter, when the game was essentially in Clemson's hands. 

The Wolfpack utilized Bryant Shirreffs and a few interesting formations. Thomas took the most of the snaps at quarterback and looked slightly more comfortable running the offense.

Penalties put the Wolfpack in some difficult spots. 

4. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney discovered a way to fold space and time. Utilizing his mastery of physics, Swinney managed to strategically call timeouts that negated momentum swinging plays. 

Facing a 3rd-and-16 from their own 32 yard line on the opening drive, a timeout negated NC State's defensive stand. Boyd connected with Watkins on the following play for a first down and the Tigers eventually took a 3-0 lead. 

NC State's Juston Burress intercepted Boyd later in the first half, but officials waived it off due to another timeout called. The Tigers eventually took a 6-0 lead.

Swinney was seen jumping into his Tardis outside Carter-Finley Stadium after the game.

5. Chin up, NC State fans. Everyone expected a blow out. We got a wearisome and exhausting contest that was tight with a dash of controversy instead.

Don't think of this as a loss for the Wolfpack, but a big win for the ACC. A loss would have poured cold water all over the upcoming October showdown with Florida State, and the ACC really needs the television exposure. 

Let's hear it for conference pride. A-C-C! A-C-C!

11 Comments

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  • ACC22 Sep 21, 4:41 p.m.

    You stay on the sideline because that makes the defenders have a tougher angle to get to you.

    By... View More

    — Posted by dblandpc

    yeah I thought that too. Next thing you know they are going to say a local coach bought a new house in his name only. Then crazy stories will float around that its the result of the same problems this coach had at his last job with coeds. Just garbage.

  • dblandpc Sep 20, 7:18 p.m.

    You stay on the sideline because that makes the defenders have a tougher angle to get to you.

    By the way...I thought it was State fan that was obsessed with UNC.

  • 45HEELSFAN45 Sep 20, 2:40 p.m.

    Joe must have missed this one...

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BUkiT9VCcAA7rz-.jpg

    I realize you're... View More

    — Posted by 45HEELSFAN45

    It has been 2 hours and.....crickets LOL

  • 45HEELSFAN45 Sep 20, 12:49 p.m.

    Joe must have missed this one...

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BUkiT9VCcAA7rz-.jpg

    I realize you're a homer but get it right...oh yea TA's knee was down too :)

  • realistic one Sep 20, 11:16 a.m.

    I believe State got the bad end of a close call. At the same time, the back should never had been that close to the line. If you watch the replay, he had avoided the tackle, taken a few steps in toward the field and came back to the sideline for no good reason.

    Also, state got the luck of a blown call on the opening drive when the refs picked up the flag for illegal man down field when the replay clearly showed the lineman was 5-7 yards down field when the ball was thrown. The ref made the call and then picked up the flag. It resulted in a big play that got state out of their own end and lifted them, momentum wise, to their first score.

  • 4tarheels Sep 20, 10:22 a.m.

    Wow, you could not have scripted this game better for the conspiracy crowd within the state fan... View More

    — Posted by 4tarheels

    Don't forget someone from the N&O payed off that ref too.

    — Posted by ACC22

    No, the N&O has fallen under the dark lord, Dan Kane. We'll need to send frodo with the ring of power to free them from his control.

  • ACC22 Sep 20, 10:14 a.m.

    Wow, you could not have scripted this game better for the conspiracy crowd within the state fan... View More

    — Posted by 4tarheels

    Don't forget someone from the N&O payed off that ref too.

  • 4tarheels Sep 20, 9:47 a.m.

    Wow, you could not have scripted this game better for the conspiracy crowd within the state fan base. If anything, the black helicopter crowd just gained new members.

  • NCSU84 Sep 20, 9:31 a.m.

    You are wrong Joe. Plain and simply, the momentum was lost on THE play. The pressure and fumble... View More

    — Posted by Chasing the Dream

    This is the correct answer......

  • Chasing the Dream Sep 20, 8:06 a.m.

    You are wrong Joe. Plain and simply, the momentum was lost on THE play. The pressure and fumble lost three plays later can most likely be attributed to the already lost momentum. The call wan't a game losing call but most definitely a game changing call.

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