RALEIGH, N.C. -- Tavien Feaster ran for an 89-yard touchdown to end the third quarter and K'Von Wallace picked off Ryan Finley on the final play to help No. 6 Clemson beat No. 20 North Carolina State 38-31 on Saturday.
Feaster's break-loose run up the middle and gave Clemson (8-1, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference, CFP No. 4) a 31-21 lead entering the fourth, then the Tigers had to hang on in the final seconds as the Wolfpack (6-3, 4-1, CFP No. 20) got one more shot to tie it.
"We've got a really young team," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said, "and I thought a lot of guys grew up tonight."
That drive pushed to the Clemson 28. Wallace broke up a pass to Jaylen Samuels near the goal line, and then an illegal formation penalty by N.C. State wiped out completion for a first-and-goal.
Wallace picked off Ryan Finley's final overthrown fourth-down ball and returned it 55 yards to burn the clock, keeping keep the Tigers on course for a third straight College Football Playoff trip.
"They've got grit, they're tough kids, they want to win," Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren said. "They didn't want to be denied that game tonight, and I'm proud of them for how they fought."
Clemson: The reigning national champions showed off their big-game experience, even with so many stars lost from last year's title winner. The Tigers never led until late in the third quarter in a hostile road environment, but did just enough to put themselves in control of the ACC's Atlantic Division race yet again.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack had a shot to all but wrap up the Atlantic Division title with a win, but likely saw those hopes end with this loss. There were a handful of breakdowns and a few critical sequences that got away from the Wolfpack, from Finley's fourth-quarter interception in his own end to a few badly timed penalties.
Clemson: The Tigers host Florida State on Nov. 11, a game that was supposed to be the marquee matchup in the conference but has lost its luster with the Seminoles' struggles.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack travel to Boston College on Nov. 11 in a matchup that has given them fits. BC has won three of the last four meetings.
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