RALEIGH, N.C. – NC State scored a touchdown six minutes into the game and never looked back, cruising to a 42-29 win over Syracuse Saturday afternoon. The Orange dropped their eighth consecutive game, and finished winless on the road this season.
“It was a good win for us,” Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren said. “They have a good base there and will be good in a few years [about Syracuse].”
NC State dominated every aspect of the game, finishing with 511 yards to 292 for the Orange (3-8, 1-6 ACC). Quarterback Jacoby Brissett went 21-33 for 235 yards and two touchdowns.
“We just didn’t play well at all,” Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer. “They were just the better team out there today.”
PACK CONTROLS EARLY
The Wolfpack (7-4, 2-4 ACC) jumped ahead early thanks to the play of key freshmen. Already leading 7-3, running back Nyheim Hines returned a punt 26 yards to set the Wolfpack up at the 27 yard line. A few plays later, Hines pulled in a Brissett pass for 38 yards to put the Wolfpack at the Syracuse 3-yard line. Two plays later, Reggie Gallaspy, another freshman running back, rumbled into the end zone for a one yard touchdown to put NC State ahead 14-3.
Hines finished with 218 total yards, getting 70 on catches, rushing for 69 and picking up 69 yards on returns. Gallaspy led all players on the ground with 83 yards and a touchdown.
“I was really proud of the freshmen out there,” Doeren said. “They showed how much they’ve grown this year today.
“It was great being out there and showing what I can do,” Hines said. “We have known all along, so to have a day like today was real cool.”
The game got out of hand a little at points, with both teams racking up the penalties. Syracuse finished with nine penalties for 77 yards while NC State was called for 10 penalties resulting in 98 yards.
Two Syracuse players, wide receivers Brisly Estime and Steve Ishmael, were ejected for unsportsmanlike penalties. Estime threw a punch at a Wolfpack player and Ishmael was called for two unsportsmanlike penalties on the day.
“We hate to lose and when things get heated it can get out of hand,” Shafer said. “We’ll talk to both of them and see where they stand next week against BC.”
Ishmael’s ejection came after he scored on a 3-yard pass from Mahoney to pull within 42-29.
This came after the wheels fell off the Orange bus late in the third quarter. Mahoney dropped back looking for an open man downfield and threw an interception to freshman defensive lineman Darian Roseboro. The pass fell right into his arms and he rumbled 20 yards for the score to push the Wolfpack lead to 35-16.
The Orange will close out their season next week at home against Boston College. It will be Senior Day for the Orange. NC State will finish their regular season at home against arch rival North Carolina. With seven wins, the Wolfpack is bowl eligible.
Senior defensive player Oliver Vigille scored on a 29-yard fumble recovery for his first career score… In finishing winless on the road this year, the Orange gave up more than 40 points in every game… The Wolfpack did not punt until their third drive of the second half and finished with only three on the day. That is compared to six for Syracuse punter Riley Dixon… The Orange tried to pull off one of their signature trick plays, lining Dixon up to attempt a field goal. NC State noticed this and dropped into coverage, forcing the Orange to instead punt the ball away on a short field… Both teams were perfect on fourth down conversions, going a combined 4-for-4. The Wolfpack connected on three of those.