CLEMSON, S.C. — DJ Uiagalelei passed for 209 yards and a score and ran for a career-high 73 yards and two touchdowns to lead No. 5 Clemson to a 30-20 victory over No. 10 NC State Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
With the win, Clemson extended the nation’s longest active winning streak to 11 games. The Tigers also recorded their 37th consecutive home win, tying the longest home winning streak in ACC history.
“It was a great opportunity for our team tonight and they seized the moment. That is what it is all about,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said afterward.
Offensively, Clemson had a balanced attack, passing for 209 yards and rushing for 145. Uiagalelei connected on 21 of his 30 pass attempts and led the Tigers on the ground.
Clemson scored on all four red zone drives, while the defense recorded three sacks and two turnovers. The Tigers held NC State to just 34 rushing yards on 21 carries.
“This team is getting better. We are still not perfect,” Swinney said. “I thought we left a lot out there.”
The Tigers (5-0, 3-0 ACC) had the ball first and went on a 13-play, 72-yard drive that ate up 6:38 of clock, ending in a 20-yard B.T. Potter field goal.
NC State answered with a 15-play, 78-yard drive that covered nearly eight minutes and also ended in a 20-yard field goal with 19 seconds left in the first quarter.
After trading possessions, Clemson went 59 yards on 14 plays, culminating with another Potter field goal, this time from 46 yards out for a 6-3 lead.
A targeting-call on Andrew Mukuba and a pass interference penalty on RJ Mickens contributed to NC State scoring its first touchdown of the night, giving the Wolfpack a narrow 10-6 lead over the Tigers with 1:51 left before halftime.
But the Tigers battled back and reclaimed the lead just before halftime. A Will Shipley 26-yard catch-and-run took Clemson to the one-yard line. On the next play, Uiagalelei dove over the goal line from one yard for the touchdown, capping a quick eight-play drive and a 13-10 halftime lead.
Barrett Carter and Myles Murphy both registered sacks to start the second half. On Clemson’s ensuing possession, Uiagalelei ran 39 yards inside the NC State 10-yard line.
A play later, Uiagalelei completed a seven-yard touchdown pass to Jake Briningstool, increasing Clemson’s lead to 20-10 with 12 minutes left in the third quarter.
Toriano Pride later recorded his first career interception, setting up Potter’s third field goal of the night to increase Clemson’s lead to 23-13.
K.J. Henry recovered a fumble on fourth down to end another NC State drive. In the fourth quarter, Uiagalelei gave Clemson some more breathing room, leading the Tigers 58 yards in 4:35, and on the ninth play, he bootlegged his way into the end zone with the decisive touchdown.
NC State (4-1, 0-1 ACC) added a final touchdown with 53 seconds to play, but the outcomes was already decided.
“I am just really proud of them,” Swinney said. “I thought we won in the trenches, which is something we did not do last year.”
Clemson is back on the road next Saturday as it travels to Boston College to play the Eagles in Alumni Stadium.
—Clemson Athletics contributed to this story