I purposefully waited a few days to give any sort of opinion of “the call” from Thursday night. There was a lot of anger I that I needed to process and many obscenities that I needed to get out of the way. We were in the game, we were going to take the lead, and we were going to ruin the night of the people who were worried about the perception of the conference.
Now it’s a few days later and I’ve calmed down a bit. Do I think it was the correct call? Absolutely not. His foot never went out of bounds. If it had, it should have been called a touchdown to begin with and then overturned. Did we get hosed? We sure did. That call changed the direction of the game and sucked the life out of the team as well as Carter-Finley. However, here’s where I may anger a few of you. Would we have won the game if the touchdown had been allowed? I don’t think so.
There’s no doubt momentum would have been on State’s side if they had gone up 14-13. Clemson would have been on their heels and the term “Clemsoning” would have had life again. Dave Doeren had his team ready and they had performed admirably up until that point. The team deserved the lead. They didn’t get it though.
Beating a team with the talent that Clemson has this year isn’t an easy thing to do. You need to have a nearly flawless game and take advantage of every situation you’re in. The fact is, even after the run was called back, State had a first down with good field position. If they could have put the call behind them and played the hand they were dealt they could have been alright. Instead, a fumble by Pete Thomas led to a quick score by Clemson that basically put the game out of reach.
I’m not saying that if the fumble hadn’t occurred then State would have won the game. There’s no way to know that for certain. The fact is, however, the fumble CAN’T happen when trying to defeat a team like Clemson. There is too much talent on that team for mistakes.
The call didn’t cost State the game – the team’s inability to deal with the call did.
The game is in the past and the loss is in the books. There’s nothing to be done about it and it’s best to try and forget it. The thing to take out of Thursday night is this team is going in the right direction. They competed against a team that could (or should) have blown them out of the water. The defense is good and will get better as the year progresses. The offense is behind the defense but is getting there and will only be better when Brandon Mitchell returns. Dave Doeren is doing a good job and leading the program into what should be a promising future.
It was a tough loss but at the end of the day it’s no worse than any other loss. Having a 2-1 record after 3 games was expected by most and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Plus, it’s better than being 1-2. Here’s to you Carolina.