The Textile Bowl has been rather one-sided as of late.
North Carolina State hasn't beaten Clemson since 2011, and the Tigers have won 16 of the last 17 in the series, with several of those victories coming in blowout fashion.
However, Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren has one of his more experienced teams since taking over the program following the 2012 season, and he's looking forward to getting another opportunity at knocking off the ninth-ranked Tigers (2-1, 1-0), who have dominated ACC play over the past six seasons.
"Now we get to play the best team in our league over my period here at NC State," Doeren told the media earlier this week. "We all know they've done a great job and Dabo and his staff have built a dominant program. They're well-coached. They do it right on and off the field, and they bring out one of the top five defenses in college football to Carter-Finley."
While this Clemson team has struggled on the offensive side of the ball through the first three games of the season, Brent Venables defense has been dominant. The unit has yet to allow a touchdown, and Doeren said his team can not be lulled into being to conservative against the aggressive scheme the Tigers will bring to Raleigh.
"They've only given up seven points a game and their defensive front is very, very tough," Doeren said. "They're impressive. Good players, good rotational players, physical, they bring a lot of pressure. You've got to be aggressive when you want to go make big plays."
"You can't let them scare you out of trying to force the ball down the field some. Sometimes that blitz package and that pass rush and the number of plays they make in their front can get you conservative, and you've got to take the things that are there so you can stay in manageable situations. You also have to take your shots when they present themselves and you got to make some plays."
North Carolina State comes into the matchup with a 2-1 record, with that loss coming on the road against Mississippi State, the only Power-5 team the Wolfpack have played to date. Heading into their first ACC contest of the season, Doeren said this game will come down to matchups and his team not beating themselves.
"Games like this a lot can be made of the matchups," Doeren said. "To me this is more about us in this game and we just need to do what we did last week and in the first week against much, much, much better competition."
"We need to focus on doing our job. We need to focus on our fundamentals. We need to focus on our eyes, on our training, on our finish, respecting the game of football and playing it one play at a time and not letting the momentum swings in the game bother us. Just managing our opportunities and responding to adversity when it happens and creating more plays than they create."
Now in his ninth season with the Wolfpack, Doeren is still looking for that program-changing type of win, and this weekend's matchup with Clemson once again provides his team with that opportunity.
"At the end of the day that's how you win these games," Doeren said. "It's one play or one player that has to step up at key moments, and I'm excited for the opportunity. Anytime you get to play a team like this that's been the gold standard in our league, it's a great opportunity for your football team."