Clemson football doesn't necessarily save major celebrations for the times that most programs break them out. After every home game, fans run onto the field, something typically reserved for major upsets. And after winning a championship, head coach Dabo Swinney gets a Gatorade bath.
Tonight wasn't exactly a game changing win for the Tigers. The ACC favorites did what was widely expected of them: they ran through a mediocre NC State team, and captured the ACC Atlantic for the fifth straight season.
Clemson is now 10-0 on the year and 7-0 in ACC play. Combined with Wake Forest's loss to Virginia Tech—the Demon Deacons' second in ACC play—and tonight's win clinched the division for the Tigers. Clemson and Wake Forest play next weekend.
That doesn't make the optics of the end of this one less weird.
Up 49-10 with under a minute left, and Clemson was still throwing from the one-yard line in an attempt to score another touchdown. Backup quarterback Chase Brice was incomplete on 2nd-and-goal, but Michel Dukes scored on the next play to push things to 55-10.
Most coaches would have probably taken a knee rather than run up the score more. Whether it was an effort to score as much as possible after Clemson came in at No. 5 in the year's first College Football Playoff rankings, or lingering resentment over the weird sideline laptop complaints from the last time these two teams played in Raleigh, Swinney got what he wanted.
After the score, linebacker James Sklaski was sent out to kick the PAT. He missed, but as that was going on, Dabo Swinney got his ACC Atlantic title Gatorade bath.
This wouldn't be the first time that Clemson has rubbed other teams the wrong way, but as many coaches would tell you, if you don't like it, don't let them get into the end zone.
That is something that pretty much every ACC team has failed to do with any regularity since 2014.