You can quibble all you want about NC State’s letdown performances this season, but Saturday was not one of them, and by the way, playing meaningful games in November is the entire point. That is a reasonable expectation for an NC State head coach, and we’re here now. The goal of any given football season should be playing meaningful games in November.
Devin Leary was about as good as he’s ever been, and he needed to be pretty good, because NC State’s running game was absent again. Chunk plays in the passing game defined this win—Leary hit C.J. Riley for a big touchdown to open the proceedings, then connected with Trent Pennix for a big gainer to set up a pass TD to Chris Toudle, then hit Pennix for a long touchdown for real this time, and finally connected with Ricky Person on a screen pass that buried the Seminoles.
Leary averaged nearly 10 yards per attempt without any run support, and it was a day for the other guys, who were bribed with tickets to see Jersey Boys: Riley, Pennix, and Porter Rooks. (Where have you been, Porter Rooks?)
Rooks led all NC State receivers with five grabs, while Riley and Pennix combined for 174 yards receiving. This was a big win, and it’s nice to see some guys who work hard get the reward of being a huge part of it.