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Universe finally delivers for NC State in Wolfpack’s 21-20 win over ECU

Well it’s about damn time.

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at East Carolina James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Where to begin? I actually have no idea where to begin. Um, right, so anyway, there was a football game, and NC State won it. It started out like a nightmare, then got better, then very nearly ended in a nightmare, but got better.

If you could script a way for State to lose a game like this, you could not do better than what happened for the majority of the day, with State making mistakes, failing to take advantage of turnovers, and Devin Leary playing one of the worst games we’ve seen from him.

The Wolfpack’s offense managed just two touchdowns all day, and both game in the first half. In fact, all of State’s points came in the first half. But still they managed. It’s a damned miracle.

Well, no miracle, just an East Carolina special teams disaster. The Pirates had a punt blocked in the first half that gave NC State a 14-7 lead—a lead the Wolfpack pushed to 21-7 on an impressive touchdown run by Demi Sumo-Karngbaye near the end of the second quarter. It wasn’t the most well-played half, but the Pack had seized full control, apparently, as halftime neared.

And then ... yeah. I dunno. Sports. The sports occurred. Usually when a half of football is that frustrating, it ends just in the way one would expect; you put forth a garbage effort worthy of a loss and you usually end up with that result. NC State did everything possible to lose this game over the final two quarters today, twice getting inside the five and scoring no points. (Though going for it on fourth down was the correct call.)

State’s defense was solid in general but with the offense sabotaging all efforts to keep the pressure out of this game, the defense was also in a tough spot for a good portion of the day. ECU scored once in the third quarter, then added the apparent game-tying score in the fourth.

Which is where the hijinks ensued. With proper hindsight, eventually, I’m sure that I’ll find what happened very very funny. Actually, it’s pretty funny now. But I was so livid about how State played, and there was such a quick run of disbelief, dejection, and then further disbelief, that in the moment it was not that enjoyable.

But just to recap it, just to make sure I remember that this really happened: ECU scored the potential game-tying touchdown, then missed the extra point. The Pirates kicked the ball deep, got a quick stop, then moved the ball into field goal range, then played for the field goal (never a good idea), and missed that field goal wide to the right.

We’ve probably had more fortunate football wins than this one, but offhand I can’t think of one.

That was something else. Wow. Holy shit, man. Wow. 1-0.