NC State hit some milestones on Friday night. Jaylen Samuels became the school’s all-time receptions leader, while Kelvin Harmon crossed the 1000-yard receiving mark, and also NC State won nine games in a season, which has been a rare thing around here.
A slow and confused start aside, NC State controlled the vast majority of the Sun Bowl against Arizona State and prevailed, 52-31. Ryan Finley was outstanding, completing 24 of 29 attempts for 318 yards and a touchdown. While the ground game struggled early, Finley kept the offense on schedule.
And NC State did not punt once during the first half, navigating around some poor play calls—and one bad fake field goal—to give the Wolfpack the obvious edge heading into the break. Finley hit Stephen Louis on several big pass plays and Nyheim Hines finished off a trio of drives with rushing scores to help break the game open.
Arizona State managed to respond in places, but the Sun Devils’ defense was not up to the task of stopping the Wolfpack offense on anything resembling a regular basis, and that was the difference. NC State gave up 21 points in the fourth quarter and the game was never in doubt, which tells you how good the offense played today.
Finley was great, Nyheim Hines was great, Jaylen Samuels scored one final touchdown in an NC State uniform, the defense was disruptive and forced a bunch of turnovers, and NC State closed out this year with a ninth win. It’s been a good day.