While NC State spent the majority of the first two quarters at Pittsburgh messing around, Nyheim Hines scored a couple of touchdowns, and both were decisive. Hines came ready, and State probably does not win without his effort in the first half.
State was entirely out of sorts in the first half, in the first quarter particularly, but Nyheim Hines almost singlehandedly did not let that matter—all due credit to the offensive line on that long run—and this was huge in the overall scheme of this game.
It was a frustrating first half, but thanks to Hines, State could come out of the locker room in a tie game, when it could have been much worse. From there, State took a handle of things and put Pittsburgh away; this was a seeming inevitability, but it never would have appeared so easy or inevitable without those great plays by Hines in the first half.