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October 17, 2009
Never a chance in Death Valley
Cline Beam's opening kickoff went only 16 yards. Clemson quickly went 46 yards in six plays over 2:34 to take a quick 7-0 lead. Wake received the ensuing kickoff and promptly went three and out. Only five minutes had come off the clock, but the Demon Deacons might as well have gotten right back on the bus and gone home then, it was clear they weren't going to be able to compete with Clemson on this day.
Over the next 25 minutes the Clemson Tigers scored 24 more points, scoring touchdowns on drives of 66, 45, and 66 yards. The last only took one play when CJ Spiller took a handoff and ran up the middle untouched to the endzone. Wake's front seven didn't get much pressure and the secondary was porous, allowing Kyle Parker to complete nine passes for 135 yards including a 51 yard pass into double coverage.
The offense barely even got started. Riley Skinner was not sharp, only completing five of 12 passing attempts. In the first quarter with Wake driving in Clemson territory Skinner attempted a pass to Marshall Williams over the middle. Clemson had several players right around Williams, including safety DeAndre McDaniel who stepped in and made an easy interception.
The offensive line provided little to no protection for Skinner, allowing three sacks in the half. The running game didn't accomplish very much either. Reverses, orbit sweeps, and pitch plays failed to gain yards to the outside. Running up the middle was a bit more successful, but not much. Even when the Deacs got down to Clemson's two yard line with the chance to cut the lead to 14, two straight pitch plays to the right failed to get in the endzone and a holding penalty backed Wake up, forcing a 28 yard field goal attempt from Jimmy Newman, Wake's only points of the half.
At the half the score was 31-3 in favor of the Tigers, and both teams had shown enough to know where this game was headed.
Clemson took their foot off the pedal offensively in the second half, but Wake still couldn't get anything going with their offense. Clemson scored one more touchdown to take the game to 38-3, and Wake's offenses didn't even sniff the endzone.
By the time the fourth quarter started the second and third string players were getting their snaps and the buses were getting warm. Everyone was ready to go home.
For Wake, just another in a long series of abysmal trips to Clemson.