Raleigh, NC – It was a beautiful, sunny day as North Carolina State hosted Boston College for their 2016 homecoming game. However, the game would end stormy for the Wolfpack, as they lost 21-14. NC State had an opportunity late, but an errant pass from Ryan Finley sealed the fate of the game and allowed the visitors to be able to run the clock down. The Wolfpack were com
ing off two road losses to top-10 ranked opponents and looked to secure a win at home here in Carter-Finley Stadium to turn their season around, which did not happen.
To start, State won the toss and deferred it. The first quarter was a position battle, both teams being pinned in bad spots that resulted in a scoreless first quarter. Boston College would get on the scoreboard first with a successful 24 yard field goal attempt by kicker Mike Knoll. Each team would trade unsuccessful drives again until Finley would find Bra’lon Cherry streaking down the field for a 79 yard catch and run that put NC State in the lead 7-3. The stadium became electric and you thought this may be the moment that head coach Dave
Doeren’s squad may take the momentum and run with it. However, Boston College quickly responded with a 65 yard rushing touchdown by Jeff Smith to make the score now 10-7 BC.
The score would not change as the Wolfpack offense would continue to struggle despite the defense looking solid. The Eagles would be stopped on a 4th and 1 opportunity after a missed intentional grounding call negated a Bradley Chubb sack. The next series, BC quarterback Patrick Towles would eventually be called for his intentional grounding for panicking from the pressure of the defensive line of NC State and throwing the ball away. Justin Jones would spoil BC’s field goal attempt with a block to set up Finley and the offense with good position. They failed to capitalize and
would eventually fail to convert fourth down in the winding seconds of the half.
Boston College comes out marching down the field, but a bend-but-don’t-break mentality from NC State stopped the visitors and forced them to another field goal to make the score 13-7. Ryan Finley came out with what seemed like a hot hand, completing three of four straight passes before completing the fifth pass of the drive to BC’s Ty Schwab to instantly put out that fire. Going play-for-play, Josh Jones get his own interception to give the Wolfpack possession of the ball again. Freshman Kelvin Harmon made an outstanding catch from Ryan Finley one play later for a touchdown that gave the Wolfpack a 14-13 lead after a Kyle Bambard extra point. More trading of unsuccessful drives would continue throughout the remainder of the third quarter.
A mental mistake in lining up the formation, an ineligible man downfield call would negate a beautiful touchdown throw for NC State, and they would eventually finish the drive three plays later by punting back to the other team. BC used a long drive that wore the Wolfpack down and found the endzone to finish the drive.
The Eagles would go for two and get it to put them up by a touchdown, 21-14. A great kick return by Nyheim Hines set up the Wolfpack
offense in good position for a four-minute drive that would result in the tying of the game. A simple concept that the team works on everyday was going perfectly at first, getting the offense inside the two yard line. Two unsuccessful runs at the goal line would lead to a change of strategy. Third down would bring a pass attempt that Ryan Finley would overthrow his own receiver and land it right in the arms of Boston’s Kamrin Moore to put the nail in the coffin.
It will be tough to bounce back from this third straight loss, especially after not being able to capitalize late in the game. The task only gets tougher ahead as they will host Florida State next weekend who is coming off of a disappointing loss to Clemson.
(Photos courtesy of Lawrence Davis III)