NC State dominates Boston College on the road. Here’s what we learned about the Wolfpack

·4 min read

Devin Carter’s touchdown catch on the opening drive was a sign it was going to be a good night for No. 22 N.C. State.

In its most dominating conference performance since a 41-point win over Louisville in 2018, the Wolfpack went to Chestnut Hill and defeated Boston College 33-7.

N.C. State (5-1, 2-0 ACC) is on a four-game winning streak and in complete control of its destiny. Boston College (4-2, 0-2) gave the Wolfpack its best shot in the first half, but N.C. State took it to another level in the second half.

The Wolfpack scored 21 points in the third quarter and forced two turnovers. One of those turnovers was a muffed snap on a BC punt attempt. Devan Boykin scooped up the loose football and took it 31 yards to the house. That started a scoring barrage that included a 4-yard touchdown reception by senior tight end Dylan Parham and a 79-yard catch and run by Thayer Thomas.

Devin Leary finished 16-of-24 passing with 251 yards and three touchdowns. Boston College had 100 yards rushing at the half, but finished the game with just 97 on the ground. Emeka Emezie broke the school receptions record (203) with a catch in the fourth quarter, but by the time he made the catch, Alumni Stadium was empty.

N.C. State got an Isaiah Moore interception and kept the Eagles on their own side of the field the entire second half. The Wolfpack’s defense wasn’t done making plays as linebacker Devon Betty tackled Peter Stehr in the end zone with 3:39 remaining in the game for a safety.

After tying the score at 7 on an impressive 10-play, 75-yard drive, the Eagles couldn’t do anything right the rest of the day. A lot of that had to do with Leary and company finding a groove and the N.C. State defense and special teams playing lights out.

Here are five things we learned about the Wolfpack:

NC State is still in the hunt

The Wolfpack handed the Eagles their second conference loss, more importantly their second loss in the Atlantic Division. The win means that N.C. State and Wake Forest are the only two undefeated teams in the Atlantic, in full control of their destiny. The Wolfpack and Demon Deacons meet in Winston-Salem on Nov. 13.

Special teams still matter

Like their last game, the special teams are still special. Trenton Gill did a good job booming punts, helping out the N.C. State defense. In the third quarter, though, it was the Wolfpack punt return team that recovered a low snap and took it 31 yards to the house for a score.

The defense stood its ground

Boston College owned the line of scrimmage in the first half, rushing for 100 yards. It finished the game with 97. The Eagles had runs of 27, 21 and 22 yards in the first half. The defensive line for N.C. State made the proper adjustments, slowing down the Boston College running attack. On the Eagles’ second drive of the second half, N.C. State forced its first three-and-out of the game, stopping the Eagles cold on the last two plays.

Big plays on offense

Leary was making good decisions with the ball all night, including his first touchdown pass to Carter, which covered 40 yards. In the third quarter he hit Thomas for a 79-yard touchdown, the longest touchdown pass of his career. His previous long was 55 versus Boston College in 2019.

They made adjustments to contain big-play receiver

Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren knew Boston College wide receiver Zay Flowers was a big-play threat. Flowers got behind the defense in the first half, but was overthrown by Dennis Grosel. Flowers caught a few short passes in the game, but never hurt N.C. State deep when it counted. Derrek Pitts Jr. was having a rough day at cornerback — a pass-interference call and two holding penalties — and Shyheim Battle was inserted into the lineup. Flowers finished with two catches for 7 yards.

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