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NC State overcomes rough first half to beat Pittsburgh, 35-17

Bowl eligible!

North Carolina State v Pittsburgh Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

The first 30 minutes of the NC State-Pitt game were, by anybody’s admission, not real clean. The Wolfpack dropped passes left and right and over the middle and on defense and it kept Pittsburgh in the game, and there was a bad penalty call near the end of the half that erased seven points, but it didn’t matter.

NC State worked past all of that crap to secure a nice road victory at Pitt this afternoon, by a 35-17 margin.

Nyheim Hines was the difference this afternoon, because where others might have been asleep, he was ready to go. He got this team started, first with a long touchdown run, then with a long punt return touchdown. He accounted for all of the points that State scored in the first half.

In the second half—and it was pretty clear that Dave Doeren was a bit miffed coming out of the break—NC State woke up and just buried Pitt. Jaylen Samuels scored twice, and by the last half of the fourth quarter, it was all academic. It was a much sharper half for everybody involved. Everything just started working again as it should, and it’s amazing what happens then—NC State takes off.

This was a frustrating game for large chunks of time, but man, at no point did it feel like NC State might lose, and at no point did NC State let circumstances get the best of it. This is a really good, veteran team. We’re 6-1 and bowl eligible now, by the way.