When Virginia Tech quarterback Grant Wells ran 20 yards for a landing Thursday, Carter-Finley Stadium was a quiet place.
The play was reviewed however Wells was dominated to have scored. The Hokies led N.C. State 21-3 with 4:02 left within the third quarter, the chance of Virginia Tech successful the ACC recreation at its peak.
However the No. 24 Wolfpack had a solution — one which had Pack followers standing and roaring after a 22-21 comeback win that made freshman quarterback M.J. Morris the person of the second and the Pack (6-2, 2-2 ACC) bowl eligible.
Right here’s how N.C. State did it:
A fast drive and rating
Perhaps Virginia Tech relaxed a bit with the 18-point lead, “took a breath” as coaches prefer to say. Or possibly it was presently that Pack receiver Thayer Thomas mentioned the offense took a uncommon tongue-lashing from heart Grant Gibson on the sideline.
“When he did that I knew we needed to choose it up,” Thomas mentioned. “That’s what I believe sparked us, when he came to visit and referred to as the offense (out). That basically helped us flip it on.”
The Pack went 75 yards in six performs and a pair of:20 for a landing, the drive ending with Morris connecting with Thomas for a 35-yard landing go. Morris accomplished 4 passes because the Pack made it a 21-10 recreation, hitting Devin Carter for 13 yards on the second play of the possession after which Thomas for 16 earlier than the TD throw on an inside fade route.
“That’s after I felt just like the sideline impulsively believed,” NCSU coach Dave Doeren mentioned. “You possibly can simply really feel it. And that’s all it takes generally.”
Hi there, Terrell Timmons
One other massive play from the Pack — freshman to freshman — keyed an excellent faster rating. On second down from midfield, Morris gunned a protracted go that Timmons, a freshman receiver, leaped and pulled down for a 43-yard acquire.
On the following play, tight finish Trent Pennix was not lined and alone for a 7-yard TD throw from Morris because the Hokies defenders appeared confused.
The attempt for a two-pointer failed when Morris’ go was damaged up. However it was a 21-16 recreation with 12:15 left within the fourth quarter after the three-play, 52-yard drive that took simply 1:12 and highlighted Timmons.
“He’s a really gifted ball-catcher who can go up and monitor the soccer and elevate,” Doeren mentioned. “He’s been approaching and I felt like we wanted one other playmaker on offense. … You noticed a glimpse. This man is actually, actually particular.”
Protection will get the ball again
The Wolfpack protection was at full throttle by this level, denying Wells and the Hokies at each flip. A late-hit penalty towards linebacker Payton Wilson resulted in a Tech first down earlier than the Pennix rating, nevertheless it was three-and-out for the Hokies offense on the possession after the Pennix rating.
Taking possession on the NCSU 40, the Pack moved 60 yards in seven performs. Morris went to Pennix for 13 yards on the primary play, then hit Devin Carter for 17 yards on third-and-10 on the Tech 47.
On first down on the Hokies’ 18, Thomas lined as much as the left, took a fast go on the slip display and bolted up the center for the landing with 7:38 remaining within the fourth.
Morris was sacked on a two-point attempt, however the Pack led 22-21 and Carter-Finley was very loud.
Run it out
There could be no Virginia Tech comeback. Wells was sacked by the Pack’s Wilson for an 8-yard loss on second down and the Hokies needed to punt from their 17 with 5:35 left within the fourth quarter.
The Pack by no means gave the ball up. Jordan Houston and Morris had six consecutive working performs that netted two first downs — Houston with third-down runs of seven and 5 yards.
“That was massive, to not give (Virginia Tech) one other alternative,” Doeren mentioned.
Al that was left was for Morris to kneel down thrice within the victory formation, the comeback full.
This story was initially printed October 29, 2022 7:10 AM.