NC State rolls past rival North Carolina ::

NC State rolls past rival North Carolina ::

Written by Brian Murphy, WRAL News Reporter.

North Carolina Tar Heels

The Tar Heels of North Carolina

NC State WolfpackNC State Wolfpack 39

NC State didn’t have to be concerned about their rival, North Carolina, celebrating on their turf.

The Wolfpack ended their season with a strong comeback, defeating rival UNC 39-20 in Raleigh on senior night. This marked their sixth win in seven games, bringing their record to 9-3, and their third consecutive win against the Tar Heels (8-4).

NC State’s standout linebacker, Payton Wilson, attributed our team’s unexpected success after consecutive losses to Duke as a testament to our strong team culture.

Freshman receiver KC Concepcion scored two first-half touchdowns and finished the game with seven catches for 131 yards and 11 carries for 55 yards. NC State scored on it first eight possessions of the game — four touchdowns and four field goals — removing much suspense from the rivalry game and any chance that the Tar Heels would be dancing on the Tuffy logo.

NC State celebrated last season’s double-overtime victory by planting a flag at midfield in Chapel Hill, a move referenced throughout the week by Tar Heel players who vowed to do the same if they had the chance.

However, the Wolfpack quickly shut down that idea by scoring the first 23 points of the game.

“The victory was significant,” stated NC State coach Dave Doeren, acknowledging that it has been over 1,400 days since UNC last beat the Wolfpack.

“All tasks assigned to these children were successfully completed.”

Mack Brown, the coach of UNC, took responsibility for his team’s lackluster performance.

Brown stated that the team’s performance in the first half was unacceptable and reflected poorly on the head coach’s abilities. He also acknowledged that he did not adequately prepare the team for the game.

Brennan Armstrong, a quarterback who transferred from NC State and graduated, regained his starting position after losing it earlier in the season when MJ Morris decided to redshirt. He threw for 334 yards and three touchdowns.

Doeren explained that based on the players in their secondary versus our receivers, we believed we could exploit that. After identifying the players on the field, particularly against KC, we decided to be assertive and go after them. I requested the coaches to be bold in their approach for this game.

Unfortunately, the Tar Heels had to play without the presence of Alijah Huzzie, a key member of their defense in the secondary, due to an injury.

According to Doeren, Armstrong was unable to practice throwing a ball this week due to injuries.

According to Brown, the player successfully threw accurate passes to multiple open players, despite being benched previously. This displays the player’s toughness, confidence, and impressive performance.

which he did successfully.

Brayden Narveson, a transfer student who recently graduated, successfully kicked all four of his field goal attempts. This included a unique 24-yard attempt during an untimed down after halftime. Prior to the half, Narveson had made a rushed 19-yard attempt, but it was found that NC State had 12 players on the field during the break. As a result, Narveson had to kick again, which he did successfully.

Armstrong and Narveson, along with Wilson, were recognized as senior members of the Wolfpack prior to the game. Wilson, as usual, showed off his impressive skills during the game.

He had an interception to thwart UNC’s last best chance to get back into the game. Wilson, a finalist for awards given to the nation’s top linebacker and overall defensive player, had a team-high 14 tackles and a forced fumble. His fourth-quarter sack of UNC star quarterback Drake Maye sent Maye to the bench with a lower leg injury.

Maye came back into the game during the next series, but unfortunately threw another interception. Before the game, Devan Boykin, a junior safety who was recognized during the senior night celebrations, intercepted Maye.

UNC struggles

The Tar Heels had a strong start to the season with a 6-0 record and a ranking of 10, but that seems like a distant memory now. In the first half, they did not perform well at all.

Brown stated that the first half was one of the worst performances he’s seen from us and that our offense was terrible.

Maye started the game by completing 1 out of 7 passes for a total of 3 yards. He also had a fumble.

Maye, a potential top pick in the NFL Draft, bounced back from a slow beginning, but unfortunately it was too little too late. He ended the game with 28 completions out of 38 attempts, gaining 254 yards and scoring two touchdowns while also throwing one interception. Maye also had a successful rushing game, gaining 106 yards and scoring a touchdown.

UNC utilized the talents of injured wide receiver Nate McCollum during the game.

Maye stated that beginning with a difficult start, as we did, is not ideal. It is challenging to play against a strong ACC rival on the road, and we cannot afford to do that if we hope to be victorious.

Scoring summary

First quarter

NC State — Brayden Narveson 32 field goal, 10:35. Drive: 6 plays, 43 yards, 3:15. Key plays: Brennan Armstrong hit receiver Kevin Concepcion for 23 yards to move the ball to the UNC 23. NC State 3, UNC 0.

Narveson from NC State kicked a 41-yard field goal with 5:32 left in the game. The drive consisted of 8 plays and covered 24 yards in a total of 3 minutes and 54 seconds. A touchdown run by Armstrong for NC State was nullified due to a holding penalty. The turnover by UNC quarterback Drake Maye gave NC State possession in UNC’s territory. At the end of the drive, the score was NC State 6, UNC 0.

Second quarter

At 12:56, NC State scored a touchdown with a pass from Armstrong to Concepcion, followed by a successful kick by Narveson. The drive lasted 5 minutes and 53 seconds, covering 83 yards in 11 plays. Key plays included two successful third downs, one of which was a 19-yard pass to Rozner. Concepcion also had a 19-yard run earlier in the drive. This put NC State ahead with a score of 13-0 against UNC.

At 10:15, NC State scored a touchdown when Armstrong passed to Concepcion for 6 yards, followed by a successful kick by Narveson. The drive consisted of 4 plays and covered 55 yards in 1 minute and 39 seconds. The pivotal moment was when Concepcion caught a 43-yard pass on the opening play of the drive. This gave NC State a score of 20, while UNC remained at 0.

NC State’s Narveson scored a 28-yard field goal with 5 minutes and 57 seconds remaining in the game. The drive consisted of 7 plays and covered a total of 46 yards in just 2 minutes and 57 seconds. The pivotal moment was when Keyon Lesane made two receptions for a combined 38 yards during the drive. This put NC State ahead with a score of 23-0 over UNC.

At 4 minutes and 28 seconds left in the game, UNC’s Drake Maye threw a 15-yard pass to John Copenhaver, who successfully caught it for a touchdown. Noah Burnette then kicked the extra point. The drive took 4 plays to cover 75 yards and lasted 1 minute and 23 seconds. The crucial moments came when Maye connected with J.J. Jones on consecutive plays, resulting in gains of 30 and 10 yards. This brought the final score to NC State 23, UNC 7.

With no time remaining, Narveson from NC State successfully scored a 24-yard field goal. The drive lasted 4 minutes and 28 seconds, covering 75 yards in 13 plays. Delbert Mimms III rushed for 10 yards on a 3rd-and-1 conversion, while Kendrick Raphael gained 20 yards on a 3rd-and-4 conversion. However, NC State had 12 players on the field, resulting in a re-kick from the same distance after halftime. Despite this setback, Narveson was able to make the kick, bringing the final score to NC State 26, UNC 7.

Third quarter

At 10:26, Armstrong completed a 20-yard pass to Decari Collins for a touchdown, and Narveson kicked the extra point. The drive lasted for 8 plays and covered 75 yards in 4 minutes and 34 seconds. Armstrong’s passes of 16, 13, and 20 yards were key on the drive, along with a 19-yard rush by Concepcion. The score was now 33-7, with NC State in the lead over UNC.

In the game between UNC and NC State, Maye scored a touchdown in the first quarter with 8 minutes and 50 seconds left. The drive lasted 6 plays and covered 75 yards in a total of 1 minute and 36 seconds. The key play was when Maye ran for 56 yards, and NC State received a penalty, resulting in UNC moving to the NC State 7-yard line. However, NC State still maintained a lead of 33-14.

NC State scored a touchdown when Mimms III ran with the ball and failed to pass it. This happened at 7:54 on the game clock. The drive consisted of 3 plays and covered 75 yards in just 56 seconds. A crucial moment was when Concepcion caught the ball and ran for 45 yards. During this play, UNC was penalized for roughing the passer, which gave NC State a good spot on the field near UNC’s goal line. The final score was NC State 39, UNC 14.

At 5:44 on the clock, UNC’s Tez Walker scored a 21-yard pass from Maye, but the subsequent pass attempt failed. The drive lasted 2 minutes and 10 seconds and spanned 75 yards in 10 plays. The drive’s first play was a crucial 23-yard connection between Maye and Bryson Nesbit. However, despite this touchdown, NC State maintained a lead of 39-20 over UNC.