Where to start? Man. What an absurdist football performance we saw this afternoon, courtesy Hurricane Matthew. NC State, which was the better team for the vast majority of the game, outlasted Notre Dame, 10-3.
The difference was a blocked punt by Pharoah McKever, which was scooped by Dexter Wright and returned for the game’s only touchdown. That came in the second half, after Notre Dame had evened the score 3-3. There was nothing routine about anything in this game, and that special teams gaffe from the Irish proved it.
This was a Hurricane Game in the truest of senses, as not just the rain but the wind played havoc on the contest throughout. The difference was that NC State wanted to run the ball—and could run the ball effectively. Brian Kelly shied away from running the ball for a lot of the game, and it hurt the Irish when they were in some advantageous spots.
There were tons of mistakes on both sides during this game—State gifted Notre Dame multiple possessions inside the 30, just a bunch of ill-advised fumbles on the wrong side of the field. State also cost itself at least three points with a horrific goal line play call that lost about 20 yards.
For most of this one, it was about what NC State didn’t do, not what Notre Dame managed to accomplish. The Irish offense got next to nothing for most of the afternoon, and State’s mistakes were the main reason why it was close late into the fourth quarter.
The better team won today. That happens to be our team. Wooooooooooooo let’s party, friends.