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NC State comes back for 24-23 win over Georgia Southern

Posted August 29
Updated August 30

Jacoby Brissett (12) steps into a throw. NC State held their annual Kay Yow Spring Game on April 12, 2014 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Photo by: Jerome Carpenter

— 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.
___

Follow Joedy McCreary on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joedyap

39 Comments

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  • Dreamchaser Aug 30, 5:27 p.m.

    ACC4ME mentioned that: "GS players really struggling with the heat"

    Wish the ACC would stop the... View More

    — Posted by iamcousinbooger

    Congratulations to you and your daughter. I'm not sure that there is a greater honor than walking with your daughter on such a special day. Good luck.

  • iamcousinbooger Aug 30, 5:20 p.m.

    ACC4ME mentioned that: "GS players really struggling with the heat"

    Wish the ACC would stop the early game scheduling. The heat and humidity is really tough on the players and the fans, too. Left our seats at halftime, walked back to our Jeep and just
    listened to the game in some cool air conditioning.

    Really hate to leave the stadium like that, but it's hard to deal with the heat nowadays. Not a youngster any longer. Glad State was able to pull out a win.

    Have an important engagement to take care of next weekend up in the mountains and will miss that Old Dominion game. I'm walking my daughter, an NC State 2007 grad, down the isle next Saturday evening at 6:00

    Really excited and can't wait to do this for her....

  • heelsforever Aug 30, 5:10 p.m.

    Well there was an article the other day on Wral that was titled "Don't expect Pack to learn a... View More

    — Posted by 4DukeTillDeath

    Lose these games or barely win it tells all of us a lot about you. Destroy these teams and it tells you nothing. The power 5 conference schools have very little to gain playing these games.

  • heelsforever Aug 30, 5:07 p.m.

    Was Brisette really wearing a Carolina blue jersey?

  • Dreamchaser Aug 30, 4:50 p.m.

    Great comeback.

    — Posted by hokiesvt94@gmail.com

    Dang, did you get kicked off again? LOL, After all of those posts putting down others for getting kicked off and this happens (AGAIN) I think it's called Karma.

  • hokiesvt94@gmail.com Aug 30, 4:40 p.m.

    Great comeback.

  • uBnice Aug 30, 4:35 p.m.

    Can you believe State was a 18 point favorite in this game? Good thing for them the GS QB got... View More

    — Posted by White Is Not A Crime

    Makes you wonder if State can win a ACC game this year.

    — Posted by Dreamchaser

    It does. They were two evenly matched teams. Very entertaining game to watch. I'm so glad... View More

    — Posted by White Is Not A Crime

    I second that emotion!!

  • Luv2Camp Aug 30, 4:29 p.m.

    As expected, Brissett did well. Doeren.......well.................I am rooting for him.

  • Tar Heels Victory V2 Aug 30, 4:20 p.m.

    Georgia Southern, did not have their full compliment of scholarship players and this was their first year of "Big Boy" football. It is going to be a long season in Raleigh!

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Aug 30, 4:11 p.m.

    Congrats to State. A W is a W.

    — Posted by GunnyGoesArrrgh

    Agreed, but Doeren should be very worried about this game.

    — Posted by Dreamchaser

    I hear ya, Dream, but Brissett looked a lot better in the second half than in the first, and that's a big plus for State. GS struggled in the EZ, credit State's D. I don't understand why so many GS players were struggling with the heat - it's not like they're not used to playing in the heat. At any rate, State managed to pull out the win.

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