No. 24 NC State stuns NC 34-30 with 2 TDs in 26 seconds
Raleigh, North Carolina -Often for North Carolina’s 24th state, rival North Carolina has proven the thorn in her side – crashing the party in successful seasons or, more recently, embarrassing the Wolfpack in blasts.
Friday night was shaping up to be more of the same, with North Carolina trailing 30-21 and playing a spoiler while NC State looked to keep ACC Atlantic Division title hopes alive. Two touchdowns in 26 seconds kept those hopes alive a bit longer.
Devin Leary threw two touchdown passes within that short distance, with North Carolina taking a side kick between them, surprising North Carolina 34-30.
Leary found Emeka Emezie in disabled coverage for a 64-yard touchdown attack with 1:33 left. Wolffick took the side kick, and then Leary threw a 24-yard side pass to Emezie with 1:09 left.
“What a football match,” said Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren. “What a game. That’s why you play until the last second off the clock.”
North Carolina State (9-3, 6-2) beat North Carolina (6-6, 3-5) for the first time since 2018 to stay in contention for a trip to the Conference Championship game. It also officially eliminated six-time champion Clemson from the Atlantic Division race.
Wolfbeck would reach the title if he lost the No. 21 Wake Forest at Boston College on Saturday, creating a three-way tie over the top of the division that would benefit NC State thanks to his division record and a head-to-head win over Clemson.
Leary finished with 247 yards and four touchdowns.
Sam Howell had three total touchdown points in North Carolina, and Briton Brooks ran back for 124 yards to North Carolina.
NC State: Rivalry has rarely been about more than a local pride, but the conference’s effects on the Wolfpack mean an extra layer of intrigue for a 2021 repeat.
Wolfpack jumped to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter but looked dead for much of the night, taking just seven points in the second and third quarters; Two touchdowns in 26 seconds changed all of that.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels, the qualifying pot as of last week, had nothing to play Friday night except for bragging rights — and the chance to play a spoiler.
Although Howell, who missed last week’s game against Wofford with an upper body injury, appeared to be running all night, he managed to run for two goals and keep his drive alive with his legs.
However, a pair of late crashes — the crippling Emezie coverage and the failed sideways rebound — have proven costly.
“I’ve never seen anything like it before. I have to do better,” North Carolina coach Mac Brown said. “We still have work to do, and that’s up to me.”
Bottom two with a left 1:35, kicker Christopher Dunn kicked his attempt on the right side down the middle of the field. The ball rebounded in the area of two Tar Heels, who had the chance, but kept rolling until CJ Riley got it back from Wolfpack. From there, a pair of 15-yard shootouts — roughing up the passer and interfering with the pass — helped keep the Wolfpack alive before the Emezie-winning toss was tossed.
year to see
Leary’s four passer hits put him at the age of 35 on the season, surpassing Philip Rivers’ 34th for the highest single-season mark in Wolfpack history. He also leads all quarterbacks in relegation against the ACC competition by 27.
Wolfpack’s latest score also gave the Wolfpack a perfect home record this season, their first since 1986.
NC State: Wolfpack will be closed in the afternoon game at Wake Forest against Boston College, with Damon Deacons losing sending NC State to their first ACC Championship game.
North Carolina: Wait for the Fate of the Bowl.
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