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NC State vs. BC by the numbers: Big plays define the Wolfpack’s win

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State should just do this every week.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 16 NC State at Boston College Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NC State made at least one big play in all three phases against Boston College, and usually that sort of effort portends a good end result. In this case, the big plays helped blow a tight game wide open.

The Wolfpack scored three touchdowns in a span of less than eight minutes during the third quarter: the first was Devan Boykin’s scoop and score on a fumbled punt, the second was a drive after an interception, and the third came on Thayer Thomas’ long catch-and-run. Big plays all over the place.

Stats Overview

... Plays Total Yds Yds/Play Yds/PassAtt Yds/Rush
... Plays Total Yds Yds/Play Yds/PassAtt Yds/Rush
NC State 58 381 6.57 10.5 4.0
Boston College 69 291 4.22 5.0 4.1

(Yds/Rush calculated with sacks removed.)

Boston College ended up throwing the ball 39 times and running it only 30 times—the margin in the third quarter forced the Eagles to throw the ball more frequently, but also, the Pack’s rushing defense was pretty damn good after BC’s game-opening drive. BC was held without a rushing touchdown for the first time all year.

Third down success had been a strength for BC on both sides of the ball, and its offense converted on only 31.3% of those attempts, while NC State converted on 38.5% of third downs. State’s conversion rate isn’t outstanding, but that is the second-best number anyone’s put up against BC’s defense all season.

Getting State’s defense off the field helped prevent it from being worn down by the Eagles, which is a bonus against that physical offense.

I don’t think that second half could have gone much better.