NC State made some uncharacteristic mistakes on Saturday night that were costly, and spent lengthy stretches just not playing very well. The result was a disappointing loss to Miami.
Despite the Wolfpack’s various problems, it still had an opportunity to seize this one late, but the offense failed on a fourth down try around midfield, and then the defense surrendered a 21-yard completion on 3rd-and-16 to allow the Hurricanes to ice the game. It figures that it would end in a sequence like that. Mostly it was just that sort of night.
The offense got off to a slow start as the team fell behind 14-3, only to rally for two scores in the second quarter to take a 17-14 edge into halftime. But State couldn’t keep that momentum rolling in the third quarter and the defense, which played the bulk of the night without Isaiah Moore, struggled to do anything about Miami’s passing game.
The contest went back and forth for a lot of the second half, but State ended up settling for a couple of field goals inside the Miami 30, and those sputtered drives proved rather important.
Devin Leary was fine and State didn’t turn the ball over, but the team just didn’t have enough decisive plays in it. Miami, for its part, managed not to make the crippling mistakes that have plagued it at times. Credit to the Canes for that, because maybe just one big turnover is enough for State to salvage this one.
Instead, the Pack will head home with a bitter taste in its mouth, thinking about a few plays here or there that could have been made—should have been made—to deliver a win. Everything’s still there for these guys to take, but this is pretty disheartening. And we’ll have to hope that Moore’s injury isn’t serious, because the defense was not the same without him.