Tigers blow BCS opportunity with loss to lowly Wolfpack

No. 7 Clemson missed a golden opportunity to become a player in the BCS championship game mix by falling to unheralded N.C. State 37-13 on Saturday.

On a night when No. 4 Oregon and No. 5 Oklahoma later lost to fall out of the title picture, the Tigers (9-2 overall, 6-2 ACC) did the same against the Wolfpack (6-5, 3-4).

Mike Glennon passed for three touchdowns and North Carolina State’s defense forced two fumbles during a dominating second quarter to fuel the rout of Clemson in Raleigh, N.C.

The Wolfpack (6-5, 3-4 ACC) took control with a pair of touchdowns just 62 seconds apart in the second quarter. Following an 11-yard scoring pass from Glennon to George Bryan, North Carolina State’s Terrell Manning sacked Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, recovering the loose ball at the Tigers’ 6-yard line. Two plays later, Glennon found Jay Smith for 7 yards and a 14-3 lead with 10:33 left in the half.

In addition to losing fumbles on back-to-back drives, the Tigers struggled to move the ball, totaling just 86 yards of offense in the first half, including 19 in the second period. Clemson finished the game with just 34 yards rushing on 28 carries.

Glennon finished with 253 yards passing, completing passes to eight different receivers, while James Washington rushed for 86 yards for the Wolfpack. DeAndre Hopkins paced the Clemson offense with five receptions for 124 yards.

Clemson closes out the regular season Saturday against instate rival South Carolina before playing in the ACC title game. The Tigers will face the winner of the Virginia-Virginia Tech game next week.

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