NC State comes back for 24-23 win over Georgia Southern
Posted August 29
Updated August 30
RALEIGH, N.C. — After trailing Georgia Southern 17-3 at the half, NC State rallied to a 24-23 win Saturday in their season opener. A Jacoby Brissett to Matt Dayes 35-yard touchdown with 1:37 to go in the game gave the Wolfpack their first lead of the game and the victory.
1:37 fourth quarter; NC State 24, Georgia Southern 23:
A Jacoby Brissett to Matt Dayes 35-yard touchdown pass ties the game at 23. Sade's PAT is good and NC State takes their first lead of the game 24-23 over Georgia Southern with 1:37 to go in the game.
3:35 fourth quarter; Georgia Southern 23, NC State 17:
Georgia Southern hits a 31-yard field goal extending their lead to 23-17 with 3:35 left to go in the game.
6:55 fourth quarter; Georgia Southern 20, NC State 17:
After fumble at the goal line by Georgia Southern is recovered by NC State the Wolfpack drive 99 yards in 12 plays for a touchdown. The scoring drive was capped by an 11-yard touchdown pass from Brissett to Cherry.
3:23 third quarter; Georgia Southern 20, NC State 10:
The Wolfpack hold the Eagles to a field goal, a 19-yarder makes its 20-10 Georgia Southern.
8:02 third quarter; Georgia Southern 17, NC State 10:
Jacoby Brissett connects with Jaylen Samuels for a 42 yard pass putting the Wolfpack on the Ga. Southern 21. A pass interference call on next play moves them to the 6. On first and goal, Brissett hits Bra'Lon Cherry in the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown. The extra point closes the Eagles lead to 17-10.
Halftime; Georgia Southern 17, NC State 3:
Niklas Sade attempts a 54-yard field goal with one second left on the clock but misses.
0:34 second quarter; Georgia Southern 17, NC State 3:
A 29-yard touchdown pass from Kevin Ellison to Kentrellis Showers extends the Georgia Southern lead to 17-3 late in first half.
5:45 second quarter; Georgia Southern 10, NC State 3:
Niklas Sade misses a 52-yard field goal attempt wide right as Ga. Southern remains on top of NC State 10-3.
8:35 second quarter; Georgia Southern 10, NC State 3:
Brissett overthrows his receiver, it's grabbed by Georgia Southern's Caleb Williams who runs it back 28 yards to the NC State 15. The interception leads to a 32-yard field goal by the Eagles for the 10-7 lead.
End of first quarter: Former Wolfpack DE Mario Williams has jersey honored
4:52 first quarter; Georgia Southern 7, NC State 3:
After moving the ball down the field, NCSU QB Jacoby Brissett overthrows Bra'Lon Cherry in the endzone forcing the Wolfpack to settle for a field goal. The 41-yard attempt by Niklas Sade is good but Ga. Southern stays in front 7-3.
9:07 first quarter; Georgia Southern 7, NC State 0:
The Eagles grab their first first down of the game and a few plays later the first touchdown. Matt Breida scores on a 61-yard rushing touchdown to put Georgia Southern up 7-0.
After kicking-off to the Eagles to start their season, NC State forces Georgia Southern to a quick three-and-out on their first possession of the game. The Eagles return the favor forcing the Wolfpack to punt after three unsuccessful downs.
Jacoby Brissett hopes he plays better against Georgia Southern than his former Florida teammates did.
Brissett's debut at North Carolina State on Saturday (12 p.m., WRAZ) comes against the same school that memorably knocked off the Gators late last season.
Brissett says he knows Georgia Southern is "coming in on a high horse and ready to play us a good game."
"We know going on the road is not going to be something that startles them," second-year N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said.
"I think you'll see two teams that both are going to have a chip on their shoulder."
The Wolfpack hope their new quarterback can lead them to their first victory in nearly 11 long months.
N.C. State stumbled late during Doeren's first year, losing the final eight games of its 3-9 finish and winding up 0-8 in Atlantic Coast Conference play - the Wolfpack's first winless league season since 1959.
A lack of leadership, and a lack of healthy playmakers, was largely to blame for those struggles, and Brissett could only watch helplessly as the losses mounted.
Doeren hopes those problems have been taken care of heading into Year 2.
"I've seen a lot of these guys on game day and I have a better feel for what they can and can't do, and what all of our coaches do," Doeren said. "And it's just the little things that you do in the offseason to better yourself."
The good news for N.C. State is, plenty has changed for Georgia Southern since that victory in the Swamp last November.
This game marks the Eagles' debut as an FCS school and Sun Belt member after winning six national titles at the FBS level.
Jeff Monken, the triple-option-minded coach who engineered the Florida upset, left to take the Army job and Georgia Southern hired Willie Fritz from Sam Houston State to replace him.
"We have gone through a lot of firsts here," Fritz said.
Some things to know about N.C. State's opener:
- GROUND GAME: Georgia Southern didn't attempt a pass in beating Florida and though the Eagles have a new coaching staff, it would make sense for them to stick to what works for them. What's more, N.C. State finished last season next-to-last in the ACC in rushing defense, allowing 180 yards per game, and gave up a league-worst 5 yards per carry while allowing a 100-yard rusher in each of its last three games of 2013.
- WOLFPACK ON THE RUN: Maybe N.C. State can turn the tables on Georgia Southern and rely on its ground game to take some pressure off Brissett in his first start with the Wolfpack. N.C. State averaged 162.7 yards rushing last year - its highest average since 1997 - and will once again rely on graduate senior Tony Creecy, junior Shadrach Thornton and sophomore Matt Dayes to carry the load.
- ART FORM: N.C. State defensive end Art Norman enters his final season with 17 sacks, ranking seventh on the school's career list. He's just 8.5 shy of Mario Williams' record of 25.5.
- EASY PATH: Georgia Southern might be the toughest nonconference test the rebuilding Wolfpack face. After playing the Eagles, N.C. State plays host to another school in its first year in the FBS (Old Dominion), visits rebuilding South Florida and welcomes in Presbyterian of the FCS. Then comes a significant step up in competition: A visit from reigning national champion Florida State.
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