Wolfpack Get Up Early, Fight Off Deacons

After a few depressing weeks, NC State desperately needed a win. The only problem was that they were playing Wake Forest on the road. For some inexplicable reason, the Wolfpack had not won in Winston-Salem since 2001, back when now NFL veteran Phillip Rivers was under center.


It had been a while since NC State had beaten Wake on the road, but thankfully, that changed on Saturday.

Game Recap

I don’t think this game could have started any better. On just the third play from scrimmage, Brissett found Maurice Trowell through the air for a 60 yard touchdown. Wake Forest then went 3 and out, and Matt Dayes ran 85 yards to score on the first play of the drive. Later in the first quarter, NC State scored on another 1 play drive when Brissett passed 58 yards to Nyheim Hines. Finally, Matt Dayes added on another score with a run in the closing seconds of the first to make it 28-0 Wolfpack.


Apparently, NC State thought the game was over after the first quarter. Maybe offensive coordinator Matt Canada decided to catch up on some sleep, or perhaps Jacoby Brissett wanted to save his arm for next week. All joking aside, NC State pretty much parked the bus in the next three quarters. The defense held strong for the most part, but did concede 17 points.


With about five minutes left in the fourth quarter, NC State scored for the first time since the first quarter. It wasn’t the offense though. Brandon Cherry took a punt 52 yards back to the end zone. Wake managed to score once more after this, but NC State took home the victory 35-17.



The first quarter was reminiscent of the “pre-season.” NC State got ahead early and never looked back. Brissett and Dayes both eclipsed 200 yards in passing and rushing respectively.Trowell

Only Wake’s quarterback, Kendall Hinton, posted more than 100 yards of offense. The defense played well when you consider how much they were on the field. It’s just tough to tell which NC State team was the real team. This week’s showdown with Clemson will hopefully tell us which team to expect down the stretch.

GIF Reaction


I mean yeah, they won. But it was against Wake, who is a power 5 team, but not a good one. The score was similar to UNC/Wake, but they didn’t play that well after the first quarter. I’m just so confused!

Overthrowing the Monarchs

Another week came and went, but unless you’re a hardcore NC State fan, you likely didn’t watch the Wolfpack completely overpower the Old Dominion Monarchs on Saturday night. It’s ok, I watched it for you. Here’s what happened:

Game Recap

It was almost surreal how easily they drove the field. On their first possession, a combination of short passes and runs allowed NC State to pound out a 15 play, 73 yard drive that ended in a Jaylen Samuels touchdown.

Later, the defense again succumbed to the “one big play” offense. A long 70 yard pass play put ODU on the board and tied the game at 7

But that was ok, Jacoby Brissett took over on the next drive. He threw a couple of long passes, scrambled out of the pocket and ran it in for a score. A few drives later, Brissett found Samuels through the air for another score. NC State went into the half with a comfortable 21-7 lead.

North Carolina State's Maurice Trowell (87) celebrates with Jaylen Samuels (28) after Samuels scored on a 3-yard touchdown run during the first half against Old Dominion at S.B. Ballard Stadium in Norfolk, Va., on Saturday Sept. 19, 2015. N.C. State won, 38-14. (Ethan Hyman/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS)

The offense got a little lazy in the third quarter, but thankfully the defense continued to play well. In the third quarter, Brandon Cherry returned a punt to the ODU 20. Matt Dayes found his way into the end zone a few plays later.

The rest of the game was pretty much irrelevant. The only notable happening was the return of RB Shadrach Thornton. Previously kicked off the team for a violation of rules, he was reinstated this week and scored a touchdown in garbage time on Saturday. His touchdown with 1:33 left in the game made the final score 38-14.


This was supposed to be the trap game. On the road, a primetime game, and the ODU team on the rise; NC State usually struggles in this type of game. For a team that usually plays down to their competition, this game was refreshing. The Wolfpack got ahead early and were never challenged.

Brissett had his lowest passing yardage of the season, but I’d like to think it’s because he didn’t need to. Much of the second half was just simple rushing plays to run the clock. He also hit his season high for rushing yards. Mostly thanks to his 21 yard TD run, Brissett was much more successful scrambling in this game.

North Carolina State quarterback Jacoby Brissett (12) passes under pressure from Old Dominion defensive end Poncho Barnwell (95) during the second half at S.B. Ballard Stadium in Norfolk, Va., on Saturday Sept. 19, 2015. N.C. State won, 38-14. (Ethan Hyman/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS)

Just like in the Troy game, one play made up most of Old Dominion’s offense. With the exception of that play, the defense kept the Monarchs quiet all night. Of course, we’d all love to do without the one play, but if that’s what it takes, I think most of the fans would be ok with that.

Finally, the return of Shadrach was also a bright spot. While Matt Dayes runs with a more elusive style, Thornton is definitely a power running back. Having both really completes the backfield, especially with Samuels as the “fullback.”

North Carolina State running back Matthew Dayes (21) breaks free from Old Dominion cornerback Aaron Young (27) during the first half at S.B. Ballard Stadium in Norfolk, Va., on Saturday Sept. 19, 2015. (Ethan Hyman/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS)

GIF Reaction


Oh no, this isn’t good. I’m starting to believe. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but NC State is starting to look really good. I’m not crazy, but this looks like a different NC State team. They aren’t allowing these lesser teams to stick around and make games close. I know, I know. They’re going to let me down. Just let me believe for a second ok?

Wolfpack Blank Colonels

NC State continued to NOT make headlines this week as they took care of business at home against Eastern Kentucky. Though they are a ranked team in the FCS, the Wolfpack should not and did not have much trouble with the Colonels. Oh and they also wore those nifty black alternates.

Game Recap

Ok, so NC State had a little bit of trouble with EKU. In the first drive of the game, it looked like maybe the Colonels could hang around. After barely converting on 3rd and 20, the Wolfpack made it down to the goal line. Then, the wheels fell off. Matt Dayes was stopped for no gain and Brissett could only get back to the line. Facing a 3rd and goal from the 5 after a false start, Brissett failed to avoid the pass rush and was sacked. So the Wolfpack settled for a field goal…except no, the kick was blocked. The entire NC State fanbase groaned in unison and prepared for a long game.


So close…

The defense forced a 3 and out, but the offense continued to disappoint. Dakwa Nichols fumbled as he got to midfield as Eastern Kentucky caught yet another break. At the end of the first quarter, the game was inexplicably tied at 0. Things got better though. NC State started the quarter in EKU territory and Brissett took over. He eventually found Benson Browne in the end zone to put the Wolfpack on the board.


Finally, a score!

On the next drive, Brissett and Dayes alternated plays to march the team all the way down to the goal line where Jaylen Samuels ran it in for the score.

North Carolina State Jaylen Samuels (28) looks for running room after beating out Eastern Kentucky defensive back Tyrell Curry (31) during the second half at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, N.C., on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. The host Wolfpack won, 35-0. (Ethan Hyman/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS)

Samuels runs over the EKU defense

NC State would take their 14-0 lead into the half. They picked up where they left off to open the half. Samuels caught a pass and brought State to the red zone. Matt Dayes then ran for 25 yards and his first of three TDs.

North Carolina State running back Matthew Dayes (21) breaks free from Eastern Kentucky defensive back Kobie Grace (38) during the first half at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, N.C., on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. (Ethan Hyman/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS)

Matt Dayes does the same

The rest of the game went mostly to plan. Dayes and Brissett continued to tear up the EKU defense and on the other side, the Wolfpack defense ended up shutting out the Colonels for a 35-0 victory.


Of course it was against an FCS team, but the combination of Jacoby Brissett and Matt Dayes looked unstoppable again this week. Troy couldn’t handle them, and Eastern Kentucky had no answer for the two. Both did what they wanted basically the whole game. Going forward, it’s nice to know what they are capable of. There’s a lot to be excited about on offense if they can continue this play into the conference schedule.

North Carolina State quarterback Jacoby Brissett (12) passes during the first half against Eastern Kentucky at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, N.C., on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. (Ethan Hyman/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS)

Jacoby Brissett airs it out

The defense looked better this week. With the exception of a few early drives, they kept the Colonels out of the red zone the entire game. Hopefully this is the real NC State defense. The version of this defense we saw last week was largely ineffective against a sub-par Troy offense. At times, they even carried the team notably in the first quarter when the offense was stagnant. They looked much better this week and hopefully that kind of play is here to stay, but it’s too soon to tell.


Defense celebrating another stop

Gif Reaction


It’s hard to get excited yet because of the weak schedule, but it’s hard to complain when you’re 2-0. Offense looks good, defense looks adequate, way to go NC State. Let’s keep these games one-sided.

Not Too Shabby

Let’s be honest, with the way NC State’s non conference schedule looks this season, we shouldn’t be talking about a loss until at least week 5. Of course, as we saw in many other games around college football, these early season games are anything but guaranteed. Thankfully, NC State wasn’t one of the victims.

Game Recap

State won the toss and gave the ball to Troy. They forced a quick 3 and out in their first defensive series, which allowed Jaylen Samuels to take a reverse, and run untouched to the end zone. 7-0 Wolfpack and fans are starting to feel confident.

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Strong Start for Samuels

In typical NC State fashion, that confidence was short-lived. Troy marched 75 yards down the field and tied the game in two minutes. When NC State did the same, this had all the makings of a shootout. Thankfully, the defense woke back up, made a few stops, and offense scored 21 unanswered points to take a 28-7 lead with just 28 seconds left in the half.

So NC State took a 28-7 lead into the half? No, of course not, that’d be too easy. Brandon Silvers threw two long passes and Troy scored a touchdown in 27 seconds. Yes, the Trojans drove 82 yards in 27 seconds.

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The Wolfpack took over in the second half as Matt Dayes started breaking off big runs in the third quarter. The defense stepped up and really shut down the Trojans offense. They put more pressure on Silvers and sacked him twice, something they didn’t do the entire first half.

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All About Matt Dayes

Troy did their best to stay in the game, but big play after big play just seems to kill their spirit. The knockout punch, pun intended, was delivered by Dravious Wright

Though it was only the third quarter, this really decided the game. A few plays later, NC State scored again to take a three-score lead and basically put the game on ice.


Yes, this was only the first game. Yes, it was against Troy. But NC State fans shouldn’t be ashamed by their excitement right now. I’m not talking ACC title or anything crazy, but there were several bright spots in this first game. We knew from last year that Jacoby Brissett was good, but he continues to live up to the hype. He completed 21 of 23 passes for almost 200 yards. All this, and he was pulled with 12 minutes left in the game.

With the suspension of Shadrach Thornton, many were concerned about the Wolfpack running game. It’s safe to say that Matt Dayes quieted those concerns. He got 24 touches for 124 yards, scored twice, and didn’t even get a touch in the fourth quarter.Generated by IJG JPEG Library

The defense was…well…dissatisfying. Allowing 305 yards and 21 points to a team in the Sun Belt probably wasn’t the plan for the NC State defense. Granted, they made some changes, and played much better as the game went on. It will certainly be something to watch in the next few games.

GIF Reaction


Nothing earth-shattering, but not much to complain about. Solid week. Keep it up Wolfpack!

ACC Baseball Tournament Day 6 & Postseason Selections

Championship Game: Seminoles take down NC State to win their sixth title

NC State: 2

Florida State: 6

In a matchup few predicted, Florida State won the war of attrition known as the ACC championship. Love it or hate it, pool play can be tough on players as they don’t often play 4 games in as many days. Both teams looked fatigued on Sunday, but Florida State found a way to play through it.

John Sansone got the Seminoles’ offense started with a 3 run homer that just barely made it over the blue monster. NC State was able to respond in next inning on a confusing play that probably should have been ruled an infield fly. Florida State had few problems against NC State starter Johnny Piedmonte. He left the game after only 3.1 innings after allowing 4 earned runs. On the other side, Florida State relievers Boomer Biegalski and Billy Strode combined for 5.2 innings with only 1 hit. Florida State added 2 more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, then sealed their victory with another in the seventh.

NCAA Tournament

7 ACC teams earned bids to the NCAA baseball tournament. Here’s where they are:

Louisville – #1 seed in their own Louisville regional

Miami – #1 seed in their own Coral Gables regional

Notre Dame – #2 seed in the Champaign regional hosted by Illinois

Florida State – #1 seed in their own Tallahassee regional

Clemson – #3 seed in the Fullerton regional hosted by Cal. St. Fullerton

NC State – #2 seed in the Ft. Worth regional hosted by TCU

Virginia – #3 seed in the Lake Elsinore regional hosted by UC Santa Barbara

North Carolina was also listed as a “last 4 out.”

ACC Baseball Tournament: Day 5

One of the downfalls of pool play is that it can often lead to pointless games later in the week. While Saturday’s early game was essentially a semi-final, the other two meant nothing. Still, teams can use these games to build momentum for the NCAA tournament.

Game 12: Florida State grabs their spot in the Championship

Louisville – 0

Florida State – 6

The two teams were in a 0-0 deadlock for most of the game. Florida State finally broke the tie in the top of the sixth inning when they scored three runs which would have been enough to beat the Cardinals.

But the Seminoles added two more runs in the seventh and another in the eighth to seal their victory. Both teams posted similar stats including 8 runners left on base. The only difference between the two was the way Florida State capitalized on their opportunities later in the game.

Game 13: A reversal of fates gives Miami a win over the Irish

Notre Dame – 5

Miami – 6

Not even 24 hours after a tough loss in extras to NC State, the Hurricanes took the field looking to regain some confidence for the NCAA tournament. Notre Dame scored the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth and hoped that was enough. Trailing by one, Christopher Barr wasted no time tying the game. He homered on just the 5th pitch of the inning.

Miami would go on to load the bases with one out and Brandon Lopez at the plate. Lopez singled to right-center field to drive in the winning run. This time, it was Miami walking off with the win.

Game 14: Even with some key players out, NC State cruises past UVA

NC State – 10

Virginia – 2

Coming off their big win the night before, NC State got a chance to rest some of their stars. Even with those guys out, the Wolfpack scored an even ten runs on the way past Virginia. The Cavaliers took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, but NC State quickly responded with two runs of their own to take the lead.

Virginia tied up the game in the sixth, but NC State responded with eight runs which all but ended the Cavs chances at picking up a win. The Wolfpack improve to a surprising 3-0 on the tournament, which no one expected. Equally surprising is Virginia’s 1-3 performance. After their 11-0 rout of Georgia Tech, they almost topped Miami early in the week. They just never found a way to finish off these close games.

ACC Baseball Tournament: Day 4

Another day of the ACC baseball tournament is in the books and it was a wild one. Notre Dame won their first tournament game, UNC improved their tournament resumé, and NC State punched their ticket to the championship game with an extra innings thriller.

Game 9: Irish notch their first tournament victory

Notre Dame – 8

Virginia – 2

Cavan Biggio made up for his quiet Thursday with a couple of RBI’s that played a big roll in his team’s 8 runs. That ended up being more than enough as Notre Dame cruised to pick up their first ACC baseball tournament win.

Virginia had a tough time doing anything on offense against Ryan Smoyer, who only gave up four hits through his six innings of work. They started out down early and never really had a chance to get back. UVA scored two runs in the third which cut the lead to just 1, but allowed the small innings to add up.

Notre Dame gets Miami at 3pm and Virginia faces NC State in the night game.

Game 10: UNC makes strong case for NCAA with win

Clemson – 3

North Carolina – 6

Though it was a meaningless game in terms of ACC tournament, both Clemson and UNC came into the tournament needing some resumé boosts to get in the NCAA tournament. Clemson might have got theirs yesterday with their win over Louisville. UNC on the other hand, only had a win over Virginia Tech in the play-in.

The Heels were able to run away the game early after taking a 5-0 lead after the fourth inning. Skye Bolt drove in four runs in part due to his 3-run home run. Though the score tells a different story, Carolina always seemed to have the game under control.

Both teams will have completed their games in the tournament and await their NCAA selections.

Game 11: NC State advances to the ACC Championship game with a wild win

Miami – 4

NC State – 5

As the 6 seed, even the most loyal NC State fans probably didn’t believe their team would be the first in Sunday’s title game. As a matter of fact, the Wolfpack didn’t lead in this game until Preston Palmeiro’s walk-off double.

After Andrew Knizner tied the game up in the ninth inning, Palmeiro stepped in as the first batter in the bottom of the twelfth.

He drove the second pitch of the inning off the blue monster in left. Carl Chester fielded it, but threw it past the second baseman. Palmeiro rounded third and looked to have been thrown out at the plate, but Zack Collins couldn’t handle the throw and the Wolfpack mobbed Palmeiro.

Miami finishes their tournament Saturday against Notre Dame. NC State plays a meaningless game against Virginia, and I wouldn’t expect to see too many regulars playing. They will play the winner of Saturday’s FSU/Louisville game on Sunday.