N.C. State’s leading rusher Matt Dayes suffered a toe injury in the second quarter and did not play in the second half of Saturday’s 56-41 loss to No. 3 Clemson.
Dayes got injured on a third-down play late in the second quarter. He caught a swing pass from quarterback Jacoby Brissett and lost nine yards on the play.
Dayes had 72 yards on nine carries in the first half. He busted a 41-yard run — on a similar play to the one he scored his first touchdown against Wake Forest last week — on his first carry of the game.
The ABC telecast showed Dayes with a walking boot on his left foot after halftime.
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“It was a toe injury,” Doeren said. “They are going to have to do the X-rays and all those kind of things to see where it is.”
Sophomore Jaylen Samuels replaced Dayes in the second half at tailback and had six carries for 65 yards and a touchdown.
Samuels suffered a toe injury to his left foot in the 28-13 loss at Virginia Tech on Oct. 9. He wore a walking boot and missed some practice time but didn’t miss a game.
“Hopefully it’s like (Samuels’) was and he’ll just need a few days but I don’t know the answer yet,” Doeren said of Dayes’ injury.
Dayes leads the Wolfpack with 865 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns this season. N.C. State is already down a running back after Shadrach Thornton was dismissed from the team before the Louisville game on Oct. 3.
Sophomore running back Dakwa Nichols helped out Samuels in the second half and had two carries for seven yards.
KITCHINGS APOLOGIZES: N.C. State assistant coach Des Kitchings apologized to Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and Tigers coach Dabo Swinney for an incident that happened during the game on the Wolfpack sidelines.
Kitchings appeared to push Watson after the Clemson quarterback ran out of bounds and into the Wolfpack sidelines after an 11-yard run near the end of third quarter.
A video clip from the ABC broadcast of the incident quickly made its way to social media during the game. N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said he didn’t see what happened but Kitchings told him after the game that he had apologized on the field.
“As far as I know, everything has been settled that way,” Doeren said. “I haven’t seen it, don’t know much about it, but he did come up and tell me that he apologized to their staff and Deshaun.”
Doeren said Kitchings, who is the running backs coach, got emotional and called the incident a “heat-of-the-battle moment.”
Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio