Saturday, October 22, 2011
Halftime: Clemson 24, North Carolina 17
By Heather Dinich
CLEMSON, S.C. -- Another exciting ACC conference game is under way here, and North Carolina's defense has been impressive in the first half. Not impressive enough, though, to slow down Clemson receiver DeAndre Hopkins. The Tar Heels' offense has had two costly turnovers that resulted in 10 points for Clemson, and a third turnover resulted in a missed field goal for Clemson. Here's a look back at the first half.
Turning point: Clemson defensive end Kourtnei Brown intercepted a poorly thrown pass by UNC quarterback Bryn Renner and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown for a 24-10 lead. It was the first touchdown scored by a Clemson defensive lineman since 2006, and it finally put some separation between the Tigers and the Tar Heels in what had been an otherwise tight game.
Stat of the half: North Carolina is 0-for-6 on third downs. The Tar Heels entered the game seventh in the ACC in third-down conversions with 41.6 percent. Clemson's third-down defense was fifth in the ACC, allowing opponents to convert 37.9 percent of the time.
Best player in the half: Hopkins. His number has been called today, and so has his name. His nickname, "Nuke," has resounded throughout the stadium like "Nuuuuuuuke" frequently today. He has 118 yards and one touchdown on eight catches.