The Monday After: NC State Football beats UNC in Last Minute Comeback and Mens Basketball Defeats Louisiana Tech

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UNC thought they had us… with 2:12 left in the game Grayson Atkins nailed a 50 yard field goal to give UNC a 9 point lead. When the clock hit 0, the team who had a 0.01% chance to win with 2 minutes left came out on top. NC State pulled off the impossible and came back to beat in-state rival North Carolina 34-30. A back-forth game, things finally went NC States way in the last 2 minutes. The next day, NC State basketball had a 9 point victory over Louisiana Tech to keep the winning ways on the weekend. A great weekend for all state fans such as myself and my voice is still recovering from the wild Friday.

Football Final: #20 NC State 34, (Preseason #10)UNC 30

Summary

  • oNC State defense made their statement right away with a 3 and out with also a sack on QB Sam Howell. On the punt. though, NC State running back Jordan Houston blocked it and it was recovered by 6th year senior CJ Riley to give the pack a 7-0 lead. NC State got the ball back with 5:40 in the first and drove the ball down the field led by Ricky Person Runs. Then on a play action play, Devin Leary found TE Trent Pennix in the back corner of the end zone. to extend the lead to 14-0.
  • UNC had the ball at the NCST 10 to start the 2nd quarter. 3 straight run attempts were stopped by the pack and held UNC to a field goal which made the score 14-3 NC State. A game changing moment came… UNCs punt was blocked again but it was recovered by UNC who ran it 15 yards for a first down. If recovered by NC State, the score could have possibly been 21-3 but it stayed 14-3 until Sam Howell ran it in for the Tarheels to bring UNC within one possession. After that, the half ended with a Chris Dunn missed field goal.
  • To start the half, NC State fumbled in their own territory giving UNC great field possession and the momentum. 5 plays later, Sam Howell ran for another touchdown and gave UNC their first lead of the day at 17-14. A -5 yard 3 and Out by the pack and UNC got the ball right back. UNC drove the ball down the field again and Sam Howell connected with Justin Olsen to make the score 24-14 and silence the Carter-Finley stadium crowd. NC State had their longest possession of the game and were in the red zone. For what felt like the first time of the game, Leary rolled out of the pocket and found Thayer Thomas who made 2 defenders miss and scored his final touchdown at home for NC State.
  • Again UNC had the ball inside the NC State 5. This time, they passed all 3 downs and were 3 incompletions which state ended up holding them to a field goal to make the score 27-24 UNC. UNC had the ball with 5 minutes left and were draining clock, they had 4th and 3 at the NCST 33 with a decision to go for it and clinch the win or attempt a field to almost guarantee a win. Mack Brown sent kicker Grayson Atkins out and he barely made a 50-yard field goal to give UNC a 9 point lead with 2 minutes to go. At this point, UNC fans were out of their seats and NC State fans made their way to the parking lot. UNC kicked it off to Houston so they could avoid Bam Knight and he returned it to midfield. First play, Leary sacked, NC States chances to win drop to 0.01% and the crowd starts leaving. Next play, blown coverage by Tony Grimes of UNC(blocked every state fan on twitter) left Emeka Emezie wide open for a 64 yard touchdown to make the score 28-30 and a onside kick incoming. Chris Dunn had his chance for redemption and he made the most of it. Instead of kicking it to the sides, he kicked right up the middle where state had a 3 on 2 and took out a UNC defender to recover the onside: NC State Ball and the crowd was back at full force. 3 Straight penalties for 35 yards by UNC had state on the 24 and Leary threw up a 50/50 ball to Emezie who was being guarded by Grimes until he gave up and Emezie caught his 2nd TD of the quarter to put state up 34-30 with 1:09 left(According to BarstoolUNC, too much time for Sam Howell). UNC with passes and penalties got down to NC States 30 with one play left. Sam Howell threw the ball up.. tipped by Devin Carter and picked by Derek Pitts to give the pack a improbable win.
  • To put it in short by my close friend Sam Houser: “Friday Night, the NC State Wolfpack beat the worst team of all time. I hate Carolina. They choked liked children, the crowd made them nervous and Sam Howell broke down into tears of fear. NC State came back from a 10 point deficit in literally 26 seconds. UNC sucks, they shouldn’t be in a bowl this year after that performance. Also I hate UNC and I rushed the field on their domes.”

MVPs

  • Devin Leary: 19/30, 247 yds (8.7 AVG), 4 TDs
  • Emeka Emezie: 5 Rec, 112 YDs, 2 TDs
  • Daniel Joseph: 10 Tackles, 1.5 Sacks, 1.5 TFL, 2 QB Hurries

TAKEAWAYS

  • Stopping Josh Downs
  • NC State held Josh Downs to one of his less impactful games of the year. His big catches came on shorter passes when state was in prevent defense on the final drive. NC State succeeded well at stopping the classic Downs screen play also which Carolina had succeeded at this year. State stopping Downs took away Sam Howells #1 target and made UNC run the ball more which slowed the offense. It showed in the stats Howell had his lowest yards all season in a game and 3rd lowest completion percentage. Also, it forced Howell to get sacked 5 times and be forced to run more which is a plus for any defense.
  • The Return of the Run Game
  • NC States rushing game is starting to look like its old self finally. Bam Knight had his highest yards per carry in ACC play and his first 20 yard run in ACC play. Ricky Person had his most yards in a game in ACC play and 2nd most yards per carry. The runs helped open up the whole offense and NC State was able to run play action plays out of it. The latte emergence of the run game is a bright spot for something the Pack has needed and can now use against their bowl opponent in the future.
  • The Most Un-NC State Span of Events
  • Honestly, as a NC State fan I thought the game was over, little did I know a miracle would happen. For the first time ever, NC State was the team getting the calls in crunch time such as the PI and roughing the passer. Also, our guys were making plays and the maturity of our team showed compared to UNCs. Last, shoot out Chris Dunn making the huge play to get State the ball and redeem himself for some of his clutch misses
  • Tony Grimes is Our Son

Looking Ahead

NC State will not be in the ACC Championship since Boston College could not beat Wake Forest. NC State is projected to be in the Holiday Bowl vs PAC12, Cheez it Bowl vs Big12, or Gator vs SEC. Personally, I think it will be the Holiday Bowl vs UCLA which is a very winnable game. Lets congratulate Carolina on being projected to be in the Gasparilla Bowl vs a Group of 5 team. NC State will be returning almost the whole defense next year and will be a threat to the national level. See you all during Bowl Season, GOOO PACKKKK!!!!

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Elijah Pomeroy

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