Saturday, September 17, 2022

#16 NC State Holds on for 27-14 Win over Texas Tech

RALEIGH – Both #16 NC State and Texas Tech came into Saturday night’s game with 2-0 records, with each team struggling with an in-state American Athletic Conference rival and also blowing out an FCS opponent. With both offenses having scored a combined 162 points over the first two weeks, it seemed like a shootout was in the works for the 56,919 fans in attendance in Carter-Finley Stadium. But, it was the NC State defense that shined the brightest on Saturday night as the hometown Wolfpack walked away with a 27-14 win.

The first quarter of the game saw the Wolfpack excelling in two of the three phases of the game. Defensively, the Wolfpack forced a punt on the first three possessions of the game. In special teams, Christopher Dunn hit two field goals and the punt team recovered a muffed punt return by Texas Tech.

After the NC State defense forced yet another punt, the Wolfpack offense began to wake up after their slow start. When a personal foul penalty added fifteen yards to a Devin Leary deep completion to Thayer Thomas, Demie Sumo-Karngbaye became the first Pack player to find the end zone on the evening with a fourteen-yard scoring run on the next play.

Trying desperately to find any offensive momentum in the first half, Texas Tech rolled the dice on the next drive and went for it on a fourth down at the NC State 28-yard line. Defensive end Davin Vann forced Red Raiders quarterback Donovan Smith to hurry the throw and sophomore Aydan White stepped in front of the pass and raced eighty-four yards down the home sideline for the pick-six and a three-score lead. Smith made up for his error on the next drive, hitting Myles Price on a deep pass across the middle for the Red Raiders touchdown.

The third quarter ended up being the only scoreless quarter of the evening. NC State almost got on the board late in the quarter, but a Texas Tech player punched the ball out of Demie Sumo-Karngbaye's hands at the one-yard line and the ball rolled out of the end zone for a touchback.

Opening the fourth quarter, Texas Tech tried its luck again as the Red Raiders decided to go for it on fourth down at their own 35 yard line, but they stopped short of the first down marker. Sensing a chance to put the game away, NC State came out with a halfback pass from Thayer Thomas to Demie Sumo-Karngbaye on the next play for a Wolfpack TD.

Even after Texas Tech quarterback Donovan Smith made it a two score-game again with a three-yard keeper, the NC State defense stepped up with Jakeen Harris picking off Smith on the Raiders’ next possession. When Aydan White intercepted his second pass of the night with one minute left in the game, NC State was able to run out the clock and celebrate a 3-0 start to the season.


Notable North Carolinians

Thayer Thomas (Heritage) – the graduate receiver caught 4 passes and even threw for a touchdown in the third quarter.

Aydan White (Asheville Christ School) – the sophomore cornerback had an eighty-six-yard pick-six in the third quarter and a second interception to seal the game later on.

Payton Wilson (Orange) – the redshirt junior linebacker led the team with nine tackles for a defense that only gave up fifty-four rushing yards.


Next Week

Both teams are at home next week as NC State (3-0) hosts UConn at Carter-Finley Stadium while Texas Tech (2-1) invites in-state rival and the #21 ranked Texas Longhorns to Lubbock.