Beck Leads Pack Past Tribe, 34-24

Harrison Beck ignited the stagnant NC State offense, throwing for 246 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Pack to a 34-24 win on Saturday night at Carter-Finley Stadium.

NC State had not converted a first down when Harrison Beck entered the game late in the second quarter.

But the junior, who started the season as the third-string quarterback, sparked a previously non-existence Pack passing game by throwing for two touchdowns and 246 yards. The defense did the rest, forcing four turnovers as the Pack won its first game of the season with a 34-24 win over William and Mary on Saturday night at Carter-Finley stadium.

The Pack got off to an ominous start on its first possession, with Evans throwing an interception on his second pass attempt of the game to give William & Mary the ball on the Pack 19-yard line. But the Pack defense forced a turnover of its own to keep the Tribe off the board, as a botched pitched ended up in the hands of Robbie Leonard.

Another forced turnover by the Pack got the team its first touchdown of the season and its first lead. Facing third and seven from deep in its own territory, Tribe quarterback Jake Phillips tried unsuccessfully to pass the ball over the outstretched arms of Alan-Michael Cash. Cash tipped the ball up in the air into the waiting arms of Nate Irving, who returned it to the 6-yard line. From there Brown punched it in on a 3-yard run to give the Wolfpack an early 7-0 lead.

From there the teams traded punts, a lot of punts. Between the two teams, there were a whopping 13 second-half punts. Evans could never get the offense rolling, as the Pack failed to convert a first down at all with the senior quarterback on the field in the first half. Meanwhile the Pack defense held strong, holding veteran quarterback Phillips to just 48 yards passing in the half to keep the Tribe off the board.

But another forced turnover, combined with the insertion of Beck in at quarterback, would finally get the Pack out of the offensive doldrums. When Jeremy Gray intercepted a tipped ball near mid-field it gave the Pack its first good field position of the second quarter. The Pack took advantage, as Beck hit on two consecutive 22-yard completion. The first connection was to Owen Spencer over the middle, followed immediately by a scrambling heave to the end zone that Jarvis Williams pulled in for a touchdown to make it 14-0 in favor of the Pack.

William & Mary got on the board on its first drive of the second half, using a good return to set up a scoring drive. The Tribe used the ground game and a long pass to get to the Pack 25-yard line, where the team hit a 43-yard field goal to cut the Wolfpack lead to 11 points.

The Pack answered with another touchdown thanks to two big passing plays from Beck. The first was a 20-yard pass to George Bryan, who caught the ball and rumbled downfield. Beck then hit TJ Graham with a 47-yard bomb that the true freshman tipped to himself in mid-stride before hauling in the pass. The Pack finished the drive with a fade pass in the corner of the endzone to Bryan, his first touchdown with the Pack. But the Tribe answered right back with a 30-yard touchdown pass to make the score 21-10.

Beck drove the Pack down for another score late in the third quarter, hitting his new favorite target Bryan for a couple of passes to get the team in field goal range. From there Josh Czajkowski connected on a 39-yard field goal to make it a 14-point advantage. Czajkowski connected on a 33-yard attempt on the Pack's next possession, set up by a fumble recovery deep in Tribe territory by Irving. Curtis Underwood continued piling on the points for the Pack, punching in another touchdown to put the Pack up 34-10. The Tribe picked up its last two touchdowns on an interception return and an offensive touchdown with under a minute remaining.

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