Every year, Clemson and NC State meet during the Fall for a football game. It is more than just a football game, however, as it serves as a celebration of heritage for both territories. This game does not feel like much of a rivalry anymore to most people though. The game is known as the Textile Bowl and there is a traveling trophy that is awarded to the winner, but it has resided in Clemson, SC more often than it has is Raleigh, NC. Clemson has won eight of the last nine games against the Wolfpack, which is why this rivalry has taken a back seat to other Clemson rivalries. Right now, one could make the case that Georgia Tech, Florida State and South Carolina are all bigger rivalries for Clemson than the NC State game. This may be true, but I still appreciate traditional rivalries, which is why I still consider this a big rival for Clemson.
NC State looks over matched this year, as the Tigers will travel to Raleigh next Thursday night in the ACC opener for both teams. However, if you have watched enough Clemson games over the years, then you know that this is a scary matchup for the Tigers. I can remember in 2003 sitting at my grandfather’s house, watching the Tigers and the Wolfpack square off on a Thursday night in Carter-Finley Stadium. The game played out like a defensive slug fest, where points were hard to come by. NC State was led by Phillip Rivers, who tied the then record for most touchdown passes in ACC history that night, with 79. Clemson had Charlie Whitehurst at the helm, with Kevin Youngblood on the outside creating matchup problems for the defense.
NC State was up 17-9 late in the fourth quarter when Clemson running back Chad Jasmin scored a touchdown with six minutes to play to cut the lead to 17-15. Clemson went for two and failed. Whenever State got the ball back, they gave it to their workhorse T.A. McLendon, who ran for first down after first down, sucking the life out of the Clemson defense. This score would hold up and it was a tough one to swallow for Clemson fans. This game should serve as a reminder to fans of both teams as to what can happen on a Thursday night at Carter-Finley Stadium. This was the last time Clemson played in Raleigh on a Thursday night, a night that saw Wolfpack fans rejoice, and saw Clemson come up just short. Clemson coming up just short became a reoccurring theme over the next six years, until Dabo Swinney was hired.
I do not like to call a game like this a trap game, because why would Clemson or its fans be overlooking a rival? I know that this game has lost a lot of its luster as of late, but it is still a rivalry game and people need to realize that. It shouldn’t be labeled a trap anything rivals play, Anytime rivals play, because both teams are expected to give their best and then some. These two teams were part of the original eight ACC teams (before all of those Big East schools joined), and first played in 1902. his rivalry goes back a long way, so this is not a trap game for Clemson. It is simply called The Textile Bowl.
Travis Patterson, writer for the ACC on Rantsports.com. Follow on Twitter @tpat20. https://twitter.com/tpat20