CLEMSON NOTES: Watkins expected to play against South Carolina
RALEIGH -- Sammy Watkins was making one-handed catch after one-handed catch during warmups prior to Clemson's 37-13 loss at N.C. State on Saturday.
The problem? The Velcro-like catching display was being accomplished with the freshman receiver's left hand, not his right. And it is the right hand connected to Watkins' right shoulder which offensive coordinator Chad Morris said was still "a little sore" Saturday preventing Watkins from playing. Coach Dabo Swinney expects Watkins will be able to play at South Carolina this coming Saturday.
Swinney is unsure if starting left tackle Phillip Price (sprained MCL in right knee) will be able to play against the Gamecocks. Clemson missed Price on Saturday as the Tigers allowed six sacks.
Price's replacement, Brandon Thomas, also left the game with a knee injury, but Swinney said it is not serious. Swinney said starting right tackle Landon Walker will be 'OK' after tweaking a hamstring.
Watkins wasn't the only speedy freshman receiver to miss action Saturday as Martavis Bryant left the game with a neck injury and his status is unknown.
Morris noted the offense was "hamstrung" by continued failures in short yardage.
Clemson gained 34 rushing yards on 28 carries often setting the Clemson offense up in second- and third-and long situations, and with its vertical and run-after-catch threat in Watkins sidelined.
Said N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien: "I think we have a great pressure package. People don't know where we are coming from sometimes."
After rising to No. 5 in the BCS standings on Oct. 23 -- the highest mark in program history -- Clemson has lost two of three games and needed to come back from a 14-point deficit vs. Wake Forest to avoid three straight losses. Clemson was ranked No. 7 in the BCS standings entering Saturday.
Move over Dre
N.C. State cornerback David Amerson intercepted his 11th pass of the season in the third quarter Saturday, tying former North Carolina cornerback Dre Bly's ACC mark set in 1996.
INTs piling up for Boyd
Boyd threw his eighth and ninth interceptions of the season Saturday. He threw just three interceptions in the season's first eight games. Morris said Boyd did do a better job of not forcing the issue, noting he was in a must-pass situation for the entire second half.
N.C. State's 27-point second quarter was the most points the Wolfpack had scored in a quarter since scoring 31 against Eastern Kentucky in 2005. It was the most points Clemson allowed in a quarter since allowing 28 against Wake Forest in 2003.