Wake Forest held on to win yet another close game, this time against NC State. The Demon Deacons survived three interceptions thrown by quarterback Sam Hartman, who also threw for 290 yards and had four total touchdowns, to gut out the one possession victory. NC State quarterback Devin Leary attempted an astounding 59 passes, going 37-59 for 408 yards, 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
How it All Happened
As expected, the scoring started early, and never stopped. NC State managed a field goal on their first drive of the game, only to be answered by a Sam Hartman to A.T. Perry touchdown pass two drives later. NC State would close out the first quarter with another field goal, making it 7-6 Wake Forest heading into the second. Wake would find the end-zone again early in the quarter, this time on a 1-yard touchdown run from Justice Ellison.
The next nine drives would consist of five punts, an interception by both teams, a Wake Forest missed field goal, and a NC State fumble at their own 5 yard line. Hartman would take advantage of the timely turnover, ending the offensive drought with a 5-yard touchdown run. That would open the floodgates, as NC State’s Zonovan Knight would return the kickoff 72 yards. Leary and the Wolfpack wasted no time capitalizing on the big play. Leary found Emeka Emezie for a 28-yard score, and just like that, it was 21-13 Wake Forest. Following a quick 3-and-out for Wake, Leary struck pay dirt again, this time with a 21-yard strike to Devin Carter. Wake added a field goal at the end of the half, and it was 24-20 at the break.
Knight would make his presence felt again in the return game, this time by returning the opening second half kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown to make it 27-24 NC State. Hartman would answer yet again with a 75-yard touchdown drive to give the Demon Deacons back the lead. Another Hartman touchdown pass made it 38-27, and while the two teams traded scores down the stretch, time was simply not on NC State’s side, allowing Wake Forest to escape with the 3-point win.
What is Next for Both Teams?
Wake Forest now has the chance to clinch the ACC Atlantic with a win in either of their next two games. First up is a trip to Death Valley to take on Clemson. While Wake only needs one win to make the conference title game, they still have an outside chance at the playoff if they win out. We’ve seen a 12-1 conference champion get in before, so there’s still everything to play for as far as the Demon Deacons are concerned.
As for NC State, they drop to 7-3 heading into a matchup against 5-5 Syracuse. The Wolfpack have played well all season, and will look to finish the season strong. A 9-3 record with a bowl victory would be considered an awfully good year for NC State, so expect them to play hard through the finish line, despite the fact they were just knocked out of the conference title picture.
Follow us on Twitter!
Visit our Shop!