Freshman cornerback Jack Tocho, getting his first career start, intercepted two passes for the Wolfpack defense. The last player to have a pair of interceptions in the same game was David Amerson in the 2011 Belk Bowl.
After a scoreless opening quarter, Syracuse took a 7-0 lead at the outset of the second period of play on a one-yard touchdown run by tailback Jerome Smith. Following the Orange score NC State responded with a 71-yard drive, marching down the field in 13 plays to the Syracuse eight-yard line before turning the ball over on downs after misfiring on 4th-and-2 attempt.
From there Tocho made his impact on the game, ending back-to-back Syracuse drives with interceptions, the second of which State turned into a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7. Thomas found tight end David J. Grinnage from 21 yards out on a 2nd-and-9 play to cap off a five-play, 36-yard drive for the Wolfpack. The touchdown was the first of Grinnage's career.
After trading punts to open the second half, Syracuse took a 10-7 lead on a 19-yard field goal from Ryan Norton. The drive got started with a 55-yard run by Prince-Tyson Gulley to give the Orange a first and goal situation from the State three-yard line. The Wolfpack defense held Syracuse out of the end zone on three straight running plays and forced a field goal.
From there, the strong defensive effort continued as State held Syracuse to three consecutive three and outs on its next three possessions, ultimately taking advantage to the tune of three points on a 27-yard Sade field goal to tie the game, 10-10, at the 12:18 mark of the fourth quarter. The score remained the same for the next two possessions until Gulley punched it into the end zone from 18 yards out to give the Orange a 16-10 lead. The Wolfpack were unsuccessful on their ensuing possession and were forced to punt, allowing Syracuse to get the ball back and put the game away after an eight-yard touchdown run by quarterback Terrel Hunt that gave the Orange a 24-10 advantage with 2:39 left in the game.
By the time the final whistle blew, NC State was without the services of eight different players that have been in the Pack's starting lineup at one point this season. OT Joe Thuney, DT T.Y. McGill, and CB Jack Tocho (making his first career start today) all left today's game due to injury. QB Brandon Mitchell, OT Rob Crisp, WR Rashard Smith, S Jarvis Byrd, and DE Darryl Cato-Bishop all did not see action today as well. The Pack has also been without its starting fullback all season, as Logan Winkles suffered an ACL injury in fall camp.
NC State will have a bye week next Saturday before traveling to Tallahassee, Fla. to take on the Florida State Seminoles on Oct. 26.