Saturday, September 30, 2023

Louisville Edges Out NC State in Low-Scoring Clash

RALEIGH – A night of celebrations turned into a hard-fought gridiron battle as the Louisville Cardinals triumphed over the NC State Wolfpack with a final score of 13-10 at Carter-Finley Stadium. The game took place on a night when legendary coach Bill Cowher was inducted into the NC State Football Ring of Honor.

In this Friday night showdown, the Wolfpack (3-2, 1-1) managed to force three turnovers but fell short as Louisville (5-0, 3-0) responded with three turnovers of their own. Louisville's offensive prowess prevailed, amassing 306 yards compared to NC State's 201.

The game's pivotal moment arrived when Brock Travelstead, who had earlier missed a 52-yard field goal attempt, connected on a clutch 53-yard field goal with just 5:32 remaining in the contest. This kick gave Louisville their first lead, securing the 13-10 victory that would seal the game's fate.

The Wolfpack had a final opportunity to stage a comeback with 1:44 left on the clock, but a costly interception on the drive's first play handed the Cardinals the ball, ultimately concluding the game.

Offensively, Terrell Timmons, Jr. dazzled with 71 receiving yards, setting a new career best, while Delbert Mimms, III, continued to shine by finding the end zone for the fifth time this season, leading the Wolfpack's offensive efforts.

The first quarter saw both teams struggling to advance, as staunch defensive efforts kept scoring opportunities at bay. It wasn't until the second quarter that the visitors from Louisville attempted a 52-yard field goal, only to come up empty-handed with a wide-right miss.

The lone touchdown for the Wolfpack came from Delbert Mimms, who powered his way into the end zone from four yards out, marking his team-leading fifth touchdown of the season. This touchdown drive was fueled by two fourth-down conversions, including a fake punt executed by Payton Wilson that gained three crucial yards on fourth and one.

Wilson once again showcased his defensive prowess, recording 10 tackles, marking his 18th career game with double-digit tackles. Sean Brown joined the defensive standout list with two sacks and eight tackles. Bishop Fitzgerald snagged his first interception for NC State, while Shyheim Battle secured his sixth career interception, the second-highest on the team.

Defense played a critical role for the Wolfpack, with Brown forcing a crucial quarterback fumble, which Wilson recovered. Although no points followed this turnover, the Wolfpack quickly regained possession thanks to another Louisville mistake.

Battle's interception set up the offense with excellent field position just before halftime. As the clock ticked down, Brayden Narveson drilled a 48-yard field goal, extending NC State's lead to 10-0 at the break.

Louisville finally found the end zone with 6:38 left in the third quarter, as Chris Bell hauled in a 39-yard touchdown pass from Jack Plummer, making it a 10-7 game. Momentum appeared to shift as Louisville forced an Armstrong fumble, which they recovered. The Wolfpack defense held strong once again, forcing a Cardinal field goal that tied the game at 10-10.

The Cardinals' third turnover of the game, courtesy of Fitzgerald's interception in the Red Zone, went unexploited by the Wolfpack's offense.

Looking ahead, the Wolfpack will take a brief hiatus from ACC play as they prepare to host Marshall on October 7 at 2 p.m. at Carter-Finley Stadium. The game will be broadcast on The CW Network.