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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, November 14, 2009

CFB: Spiller leads No. 24 Clemson past NC State 43-23

Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. C.J. Spiller became the first player in Clemson history to record a touchdown passing, rushing and receiving in the same game, helping the No. 24 Tigers defeat North Carolina State 43-23 on Saturday.

Spiller, who broke Derrick Hamilton's single-season school record for all-purpose yards on his 16-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, rushed for 97 yards on 18 carries. He finished with three receptions for 48 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown catch that blew open the game early in the fourth quarter.

Jamie Harper added a 69-yard touchdown run for the Tigers (7-3, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who won their fifth consecutive game. The Tigers will clinch the ACC Atlantic Division if Boston College loses at Virginia later Saturday.

Russell Wilson was 12 of 32 for 183 yards and two touchdowns for the Wolfpack (4-6, 1-5 ACC), who allowed at least 30 points for the seventh consecutive game.

Spiller's footprints were all over the game, despite the Wolfpack's best effort to neutralize the running back.

N.C. State squibbed its first three kickoffs in an effort to keep the ball away from Spiller and fellow speedster Jacoby Ford, setting up the Tigers with good field position. Punter Jeff Ruiz aimed his kicks toward the sideline for the same reason, but he shanked one for 6 yards that gave the Tigers the ball at the N.C. State 17-yard line early in the second quarter.

On the next play, Spiller threw the second touchdown pass of his career to give the Tigers a 17-0 lead. He took a toss to the right and lofted the ball to Xavier Dye, who was open in the end zone after running behind cornerback C.J. Wilson.

Clemson clinched a winning regular season, while N.C. State was eliminated from bowl consideration. The Wolfpack had been 7-2 in November games under Tom O'Brien, including a 4-0 mark last season that earned them a bowl berth, but they couldn't repeat the feat to reach the postseason in 2009.

Kyle Parker was 12 of 18 for 183 yards and two touchdowns as Clemson scored at least 38 points for a school-record fifth consecutive game. N.C. State's offense sputtered as dropped passes plagued the Wolfpack, particularly in the early going.

N.C. State's fans, most of whom weren't around at the end of the game, voiced their displeasure during the second quarter. After watching wide receivers drop three throws, they delivered a loud, sarcastic cheer when Koyal George managed to hang onto one of Wilson's passes.

George had an 18-yard touchdown reception to end that drive, bringing the Wolfpack within 10 points at 17-7, but they never got closer.