NC State didn't lead in this game until there were less than two minutes left, but hey, man, sometimes that's just enough. Jacoby Brissett hit Matt Dayes on a wheel route for the go-ahead score with 1:37 remaining, and the defense held--thanks to a clutch fourth down hit by Jarvis Byrd--to preserve the 24-23 victory.
State's offense struggled for the majority of the game, which is why the Pack found itself down a couple of scores heading into the fourth quarter. Georgia Southern had for most of the game done a better job of executing and making big plays in important spots, but a fourth quarter fumble at the goal line--where GSU had the opportunity to go up 27-10--turned the game.
State took it 99 yards from there to pull to within three points, then limited the Eagles to a field goal on their subsequent drive, which set up the late-stage heroics. Jacoby Brissett bounced back nicely from a slow start to give the offense life in the final 20 minutes or so, finally shaking off the rust and looking like the quarterback NCSU's coaches have raved about.
And, well, just whew. WHEW. Disaster averted. There were positives to take away in several places, but obviously enduring a nailbiter against a three-score dog is not ideal. There is a lot to break down from this effort, though for now I am going to enjoy victory. Been too long.