Saturday, September 3, 2022

NC State Survives Late Against ECU

GREENVILLE – The thirteenth-ranked NC State Wolfpack survived on Saturday afternoon after a failed comeback attempt by the host East Carolina Pirates. A record crowd of 51,711 at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium watched the Wolfpack power out to a 21-7 halftime lead before the Pirates scored thirteen unanswered points in the second half to come up just short.

After an ECU third-quarter touchdown made it a one-score game, a goal-line stand by the Pirates defense gave the home fans hope for the comeback. Seven minutes later, the Pirates offense, led by signal caller Holton Ahlers, found the end zone in hopes of tying the game up, but the PAT was wide and the Wolfpack was clinging to a one-point lead. The Pirates defense stepped up again, forcing a punt, and the ECU offense got in NC State territory with just a few seconds left but the potential game-winning field goal was wide and the Wolfpack escaped with the one-point win.

Coaches Corner

NC State Head Coach Dave Doeren

"First, give East Carolina a lot of credit. We were up 21-7 and their kids fought. The most disappointing part for us is not scoring at the goal line and the other opportunities that we didn't come up with points. There's a lot to look at on film. It always starts with the schemes that we're running, seeing how we're coaching things, looking at guys that are running the plays and where we can get better and we will get a lot better. The one thing I can't do is change our record tomorrow. We're 1-0 and we're excited. The last time I was here, we lost 33-30 so it feels good to leave with a win. You've got to give Coach Houston and his staff at ECU a lot of credit. They did a great job today."

East Carolina Head Coach Mike Houston

"There's not a whole lot to say. Kids fought their tails off. They inspire me with the way they play. Our preparation coming into this game, we were very confident this morning. I know nobody outside of Greenville gave us much of a chance, but those kids never doubted. We should have won the ballgame. We outplayed them. We dominated them physically in the second half. I just hurt for those kids in that locker room right now. They've brought this program from the depths back to what it was today. That stadium today was incredible. Our fan base is incredible, and we all deserve to have a win today. I'm just sorry we're not sitting here celebrating one."


Notable North Carolinians

Thayer Thomas (Heritage) – the graduate wide receiver had four catches for fifty-eight yards and a touchdown

Jaylon Scott (Shelby) – the junior linebacker had eight tackles, including five solo stops

Holton Ahlers (Conley) – the senior quarterback completed 24 of 40 attempts for 255 yards with two touchdowns


Next Week

NC State (1-0) hosts Charleston Southern in their home debut at Carter-Finley Stadium while East Carolina (0-1) hosts Old Dominion (1-0), who is fresh off a Power 5 upset of Virginia Tech.