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NC State loses to Virginia Tech 28-13

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Things looked positive for NC State early on, as they jumped out to a 10-0 lead at the beginning in the second quarter. The defense looked as if they were going to get off the field again after a third down pass fell incomplete, but a holding penalty extended the Hokie drive. They scored on the next play and it might as well have been curtains. Backup quarterback Brenden Motley, who threw three interceptions and completed less than half of his passes last week, carved up the Wolfpack defense on his way to three touchdown passes during the second quarter. It was only the second time since 2012 that Virginia Tech had scored 21 points in a quarter. NC State eventually cut it to eight with a Bambard field goal, but the offense was a dud most of the night and failed to capitalize on good field position in the fourth quarter when they still had a chance to tie the game. A 59 yard touchdown run with seven minutes to go buried any last chances the Pack had for good.

The Virginia Tech offense outgained NC State by nearly a hundred yards, and that’s a testament to how both offenses played. The Pack’s offense was downright frustrating to watch on Friday, just as it was last week. They certainly have a lot of weapons to get the ball to, but offensive line struggles have hurt both the pass and the run game. Bad play calling also hasn’t helped the offense get going. These things, combined with a general lack of awareness that results in stupid penalties such as delay of game made Friday’s game an all-around infuriating experience. 13 points per game is just not going to cut it and adjustments will have to be made if the season is to be turned around.

Defensively, The Pack didn’t actually play that poorly if you throw away the second quarter. Unfortunately the second quarter does still count, and Tech’s 21 point clinic left NC State a hole that turned out to be insurmountable. Despite having the most experience of any unit on the defensive side, the secondary struggled through the second quarter. Losing Hakim Jones didn’t help, but the unit has been a liability at times this year. The defensive line, which has been pleasantly surprising this year considering the youth, didn’t do a great deal to bother Motley in that second quarter, and the quarterback had way too much time to throw on multiple occasions, especially his third touchdown pass. The defense undoubtedly played better in the second half, but the deficit was apparently already too much.

Kyle Bambard was the best thing to come out of this game for NC State. He was two for two on field goal attempts and was also responsible for a punt, in which he rescued a bad snap and saved what would’ve been a disastrous play. This game should be a big confidence boost for him going forward. The loss effectively eliminates NC State from the Atlantic Division race, but there are bigger things to worry about than that for sure. The Pack will get a week off before traveling to the black hole Winston-Salem in two weeks.

Other Notes

- Brissett threw his first interception since the Georgia Tech game last year. This will likely end up being a good thing

- Whether it’s Brissett holding the ball too long, or the receivers just not getting open, the passing game has to be quicker or more sacks will be the result.

- Ramos still looks like he could become a dependable receiving threat. He made a nice catch early.

- Where on earth has David Grinnage been?

- The touchdown pass that Jumichael Ramos had ripped away from him on fourth down was most definitely pass interference. It more than likely would not have mattered.