Devin Leary threw a dagger to Cary Angeline on 3rd-and-16, when there were only eight minutes left, when the momentum had been entirely in Pitt’s favor, when the team needed badly a play that could reinstall a bit of assurance.
That throw was the beginning of NC State’s fourth-quarter rally, and also the start of its reason for believing any such rally were possible.
Pitt went ahead and decided this was not okay, and drove down the field for a touchdown of its own, putting the Panthers ahead by six with 1:44 left.
That was too much time for Devin Leary, who was prepared to deal with that; Devin wasn’t bothered by the circumstances. He had been cooking during the latter portion of the second half, and he used that to drive this win home, with a wee bit of help from Emeka Emezie. It didn’t matter what Pitt had done previously, and that’s exactly what you want from your quarterback.
You want to see not only that your quarterback makes solid decisions, but also that he ain’t afraid of the tough circumstances—and Leary passed those tests with no problem. When the game was up in the air, Leary went ahead and took it for NC State.