- Ivan Maisel, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. Good teams are good in all three phases of the game. That’s not breaking news, but we saw what it means at North Carolina State on Thursday night. The Wolfpack got to Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd early and the pressure disrupted his rhythm. He didn’t find it until late in the third quarter. But the Tigers’ defense and special teams kept the Wolfpack in check. Once Boyd found his game, Clemson easily pulled away to a 26-14 victory. The Tigers look like No. 3.
2. The Texas regent who called Jimmy Sexton about Alabama head coach Nick Saban reminds me of the Sports Illustrated expose on Oklahoma State. That’s probably not the only phone call that Sexton received that week about a client of his from another school. What has that got to do with Oklahoma State? Both cases are an inside look at how business gets done. Saban said on his radio show last night that he’s “too damn old to start over.” He and Terri are happy in Alabama, and they have learned the hard way how important that is.
3. Three weeks into the season, 22 FBS schools have scored on every trip into the red zone, but only four of them have scored touchdowns on every trip: Oklahoma State, Texas State, Georgia State and Hawaii. Oklahoma State has the most trips, with 15, and winless Hawaii the least -- just one. A special shout out to Dennis Franchione’s Bobcats, who also lead the FBS in red zone defense, allowing only one touchdown and one field goal in seven trips. Texas State plays at No. 25 Texas Tech on Saturday night.