DALLAS (FWAA) The North Carolina State
Wolfpack upset No. 9 Clemson in overtime, 27-21, toppling
their division foe and six-time ACC champion for the first time
in nine tries since 2011. For their first win over a top-10 team
since 2012, N.C. State earned the Cheez-It Bowl National
Team of the Week honor for games of weekend of Sept. 25,
as selected by the Football Writers Association of America.
This is just the second time for N.C. State (3-1) to earn this
honor from the FWAA and its first since 2012 when it upset then-No.
3 Florida State, 17-16.
Sophomore quarterback Devin Leary was outstanding, completing
32 of 44 passes for 238 yards with four touchdowns without an interception.
He continually escaped Clemson's rush that is one of the nation's
best at pressuring the backfield and mixed his passes to 10 different
receivers and capped the win with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Devin
Carter, who made a fine catch in the back of the end zone on the
Wolfpack's second overtime possession. Leary's four scoring passes
went to three different receivers and N.C. State became the first
team to score an offensive touchdown against Clemson this season
when Leary hit Emeka Emezie on a nine-yard scoring play to end the
first quarter. Emezie finished with a career-high 14 passes for
116 yards and the touchdown.
The Wolfpack defense did its part holding Clemson to eight rushing
yards and just 87 total yards in the first half. The teams were
tied at halftime 7-7, only the ninth time under Dabo Swinney that
the Tigers were tied after two quarters.
"We didn't flinch. The curse is broken. Finally," head
coach Dave Doeren said. "We've been here nine years and seen
a lot of crazy stuff. People talked a lot about it. I think it (the
curse) was real. And it's over. We can move on now and be happy
about it. Our quarterback (Devin Leary) was incredible."
In winning the rivalry game dubbed the Textile Bowl, N.C. State
snapped Clemson's 36-game win streak against teams unranked in the
Associated Press poll, a string that dated to the 2017 season. The
Wolfpack now have four wins over top-10 Clemson teams in the series
(1987, '88 and 2011).
This is the 20th season the FWAA will select a national team
of the week. Each honored team will receive a custom Cheez-It "care
package" along with a hand-crafted game ball made in America
by Dallas-based Big Game USA, the nation's leading manufacturer
of custom footballs.
N.C. State hosts Louisiana Tech in its final non-conference tilt
at 6 p.m. Saturday on an ACC Network broadcast.
The other National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend
of Sept. 25 are:
Arkansas (4-0): The Razorbacks moved to
4-0 on the season for the first time since 2012 with a 20-10
win over No. 7 Texas A&M in Arlington, Texas. The Hogs beat
their longtime rival for the first time since A&M joined
the SEC in 2012 thanks in part to three sacks and nine tackles
for loss. Arkansas was the Cheez-It National Team of the Week
for the weekend of Sept. 11 following its win over then-No.
Bowling Green (2-2): The Falcons shocked
Minnesota on the road, 14-10, ending the Gophers' 21-game non-conference
win streak that was the longest in the nation. Two Falcon interceptions
in the fourth quarter sealed it as Bowling Green held Minnesota
to 241 total yards.
Oregon State (3-1): B.J. Baylor ran
for 158 yards and Chance Nolan threw four touchdown passes
as the Beavers won their Pac-12 Conference opener for the
first time since 2013 and beat USC at the Coliseum for the
first time since 1960, 45-27. The 45 points are the most
Oregon State has scored in the series.
UTSA (4-0): The Roadrunners scored a second
big road win this season with a 31-28 takedown of Memphis as
Hunter Duplessis kicked a 42-yard field goal as time expired
to complete a 21-point comeback. Sincere McCormick piled up
217 all-purpose yards, helping end Memphis' 17-game home win
streak. UTSA is 4-0 for the first time since 2012.
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America
consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives
in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and gameday
operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual All-America team.
For more information about the FWAA and its programs and initiatives, contact Executive
Director Steve Richardson at 214-870-6516 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Cheez-It Bowl
The Cheez-It Bowl takes place on
Wednesday, Dec. 29 at 5:45 p.m. ET in Orlando, Fla. The postseason contest is hosted
by Florida Citrus Sports, a Central Florida-based nonprofit, and annually features
top teams from the Atlantic Coast and Big 12 Conferences. Cheez-It®, the best-selling
cracker brand in the United States, signed on as the game's title sponsor in 2020
as part of its season-long support of college football. Last bowl season, No. 21
Oklahoma State beat No. 18 Miami 37-34 in front of an audience of Cheez-It "Wheel
Live Fans." This year's Cheez-It Bowl will be the 32nd edition of the game and its
21st in Orlando.
All-time FWAA National
Teams of the Week
Download Cheez-It Bowl National Team
of the Week logo:
|2021 FWAA ALL-AMERICA
||Memphis Commercial Appeal
||American Athletic Conference
||Bryan-College Station Eagle
||Pick Six Previews
||Big Ten Conference
||Big Ten Conference
||Sun Belt Conference
||Big 12 Conference
||Big 12 Conference
||Last Word on College Football
||Phil Steele Publications
||Mountain West Conference
||Toledo Blade retired