State responded to its disheartening loss to Clemson with a hearty Homecoming/Senior Day 38-3 thumping of Wake Forest today. With the win, State still remains in control of its own destiny, with two games remaining, at Carolina and then at Maryland. It’s simple: win two and we’ll get a rematch against a Virginia Tech team that most of us feel we should’ve beaten back in October; win three and we’ll play in Miami January 3rd.
Russell Wilson completed 24-of-35 passes for 300 yards and two touchdowns, with only a single interception (which in the situation, 4th-and-9 on Wake’s 35, was intercepted at the Wake 15 and turned out as good as a pooch punt); he also ran for two more touchdowns.
It was a record-breaking day for the Pack. With the four touchdowns, Wilson moves into second place all-time in the ACC for combined rushing and passing touchdowns, behind some guy you may remember that wore 17 for the Pack. Also, Nate Irving had eight tackles for loss, which gives him the single-game NC State record over former NFL #1 pick, Mario Williams.
What folks are saying:
Fans who attended Saturday’s NC State-Wake Forest football game donated approximately 5,000 toys and a total of $23,500 in cash to the U.S. Marine Reserves Toys for Tots program. Added to the $500 Coca-Cola donated for every touchdown the Wolfpack scored this season in its first 10 games, and the program raised an all-time record of $47,500 in cash donations, which will be used in the annual shopping spree in December to purchase toys for the holidays of Triangle-area children
NC State head football coach Tom O’Brien talked all week about the rare opportunity his team had Saturday against Wake Forest: a second chance to shape its fate in the ACC football race….
Saturday, in front of a Homecoming crowd of 57,161, O’Brien and his charges dominated Wake Forest, scoring four second-half touchdowns to breeze by the Demon Deacons, 38-3, at Carter-Finley Stadium.
The offense was productive and efficient, getting points on its first drives of both halves, and pouring on the points on short-field, lighting-fast drives in the second half.
Joedy McCreary writes “If this was goodbye for Russell Wilson at home, it was an impressive way to go.”
“Every day, I try to push myself to be the best that I can be, no matter if I’m running the ball, throwing the ball, whatever. I try to do the same thing for the rest of the guys … because we’ve got a lot of talent on this team,” Wilson said. “We can be special, but we have to work at it every single day.
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Ken Tysiac agrees, saying that Wilson “left Carter-Finley Stadium in style.”
If Wilson doesn’t return next season, he will leave with extraordinary numbers. On Saturday he moved into second place in ACC history in touchdown responsibility with 85 touchdowns. He moved past Joe Hamilton, Shawn Moore and Chris Weinke and trails only former N.C. State standout Philip Rivers, who holds the ACC record with 112.
He also exhibited a touch of class that few people noticed before the game. During the senior day festivities, he handed bracelets to his mother, brother and sister that he’d had inscribed with his father’s name and “1954-2010.”
His father, Harrison Wilson III, died in June after a long illness. Wilson said he thinks about his father every day, and plans to continue honoring his memory no matter what he does next.
What that will be is anyone’s guess. Asked about the future, Wilson talked about the next game, against North Carolina. Beyond that, though, Wilson isn’t tipping his hand.
Luke Decock talks a little about Nate Irving’s performance in his final home game:
In his last home game, Irving produced the kind of performance that could bring football purists and opposing coaches to tears, albeit for different reasons.
It was one of the finest games of his career, breaking a school record with eight tackles for loss among his 13 tackles in a 38-3 win over Wake Forest on Saturday, the apex of his comeback from the car accident that nearly killed him on his way back to campus from Wallace 18 months ago.
More to come…
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