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Clemson Wasn't Ready to Win at NC State Last Year

Clemson offensive lineman believes Tigers' offense was too young last year at NC State but has "developed a ton" coming into this season's games.
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Many things proved difficult for Clemson in last year's 27-21 double-overtime loss at NC State. 

One of those was, of course, winning the game. The Tigers got hit hard by injuries and gave up a touchdown pass in the late second extra period, but they also came up short trying to keep the game alive on their final possession. 

Clemson junior right guard Walker Parks said the offense wasn't prepared to win that kind of game. 

"We didn't finish last year," Parks said. "I don't think we were ready for it last year. I think we were very young on offense, didn't understand what it took, didn't understand the meaning of winning. We didn't appreciate it. 

"I think they wanted it more. I think they knew what it took. I think they put more work in than us, prepared better, knew their assignments better and was the better team."

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No. 5 Clemson hopes that isn't the case in Saturday's 7:30 p.m. game against No. 10 NC State. The Tigers (4-0, 2-0 ACC) get a shot at revenge from 2021 and the ability to take control of the ACC Atlantic Division. 

"Definitely looking forward to it," Parks said. "We 100% want the revenge. We want to win the division. We want to win the conference, take the title. We didn't do it last year."

Neither did the Wolfpack. Wake Forest, despite losing to Clemson in the regular season, captured the division crown. Last week, the Tigers beat the Demon Deacons 51-45 in double overtime to get that big one out of the way. 

Clemson plays NC State (4-0, 0-0), Florida State (4-0, 2-0) and Syracuse (4-0,2-0), the other undefeated teams in the Atlantic, in October. But the road will get a lot tougher with a loss this week to a talented Wolfpack squad. 

"We're playing another great team this year," Parks said about NC State. "They've returned everybody on defense, most of the guys. I think nine of the 11 starters from last year. I don't even know if I'm looking for revenge, but looking to get better and focus on ourselves and be Clemson, be the team that we are. We've developed a ton on offense and I think I think all around we're a better team, but they're a really good team, too."

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