NC State just defeated their archrival #17 UNC 30-27 in Double Overtime in Chapel Hill.
The Wolfpack did this with Redshirt Freshman Ben Finley starting at Quarterback. A couple of weeks back, Finley was the Quarterback for the Scout Team. Finley is the 4th player to start at Quarterback for NC State this season, and according to Wolfpack historian Tim Peeler, he can’t find a season in school history where that has ever happened.
How often does an unranked team beat a ranked team on the road against their archrival with their 4th string Quarterback?
That isn’t meant to be an insult to Finley…the young man was not intimidated by the opportunity placed in his lap. Finley was 27 of 40 for 271 yards and 2 touchdowns (0 interceptions) with a Passing Efficiency Rating of 140.9.
Junior Wide Receiver Devin Carter played his best game of the season, with 6 receptions for 130 yards and a touchdown.
True Freshman Terrell Timmons flashed once again, flying past UNC’s secondary for a 28-yard touchdown.
The Wolfpack defense did what they’ve done all year long, and they exposed the seemingly “unstoppable” Tar Heel offense. NC State held UNC Quarterback Drake Maye to his worst performance of the season, posting a season-low Passing Efficiency Rating of 101.8.
The reality is, UNC hadn’t played a legit defense all season, and it showed today.
Per usual, the Wolfpack were led by their elite Linebackers, with Payton Wilson and Drake Thomas collecting 11 and 10 tackles respectively.
The Wolfpack defense had 9 tackles for loss against the Heels.
UNC will play in the ACC Championship game against #8 Clemson, but they will likely do so as an unranked team, and I freaking love it.
Dave Doeren and his staff had the challenge of preparing an injury riddled team to finish their season with an exclamation point prior to the bowl, and they did their jobs exceptionally. The Wolfpack played with grit and determination, and were fearless.
The Wolfpack have beaten UNC two years in a row in dramatic fashion, and have beaten their archrivals in 5 of the last 7 games.
NC State owns the state of North Carolina!
It’s a proud day to be an NC State fan!
NC State’s Kevin Concepcion Earns Freshman All-American Status from The Athletic
NC State Wide Receiver Kevin Concepcion has been named a Freshman All-American by The Athletic.
Here’s what they had to say about KC:
WR Kevin Concepcion, NC State: “KC” easily won ACC Rookie of the Year this season after catching 64 passes for 767 yards, rushing for 297 yards on 7.8 yards per carry and scoring 11 total touchdowns. The 5-foot-11, 187-pound slot receiver from Charlotte was a three-star signee who proved he should start right away as a true freshman. Over his last seven games, Concepcion has averaged 117 total yards per game. (The Athletic)
Payton Wilson Earns 3 More 1st Team All-American Honors
NC State Linebacker Payton Wilson has added 3 more First Team All-American accolades to his list: Sports Illustrated, College Football Network and The Athletic. He already earned the same honors from USA Today, CBS & PFF.
Quarterback: Jayden Daniels, LSU
Running back: Ollie Gordon II, Oklahoma State; Cody Schrader, Missouri
Wide receiver: Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State; Rome Odunze, Washington; Malik Nabers, LSU
Tight end: Brock Bowers, Georgia
Offensive line: Olu Fashanu, Penn State; Zak Zinter, Michigan; Sedrick Van Pran, Georgia; Cooper Beebe, Kansas State; Joe Alt, Notre Dame
Edge: Laiatu Latu, UCLA; Jalen Green, James Madison
Defensive tackle: T’Vondre Sweat, Texas; Jer’Zhan Newton, Illinois
Linebacker: Jay Higgins, Iowa; Payton Wilson, North Carolina State; Jeremiah Trotter Jr., Clemson
Cornerback: Will Johnson, Michigan; Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama
Safety: Malaki Starks, Georgia; Xavier Watts, Notre Dame
Punter: Tory Taylor, Iowa
Kicker: Graham Nicholson, Miami (Ohio)
Kick returner: Cooper DeJean, Iowa
All-purpose: Travis Hunter, Colorado
2023 First-Team All-American Offense
QB: Bo Nix, Oregon
RB: Ollie Gordon II, Oklahoma State
RB: Ashton Jeanty, Boise State
WR: Malik Washington, Virginia
WR: Malik Nabers, LSU
WR: Rome Odunze, Washington
TE: Dallin Holker, Colorado State
FLEX: Troy Franklin, Oregon
OT: Darius Washington, Florida State
OG: Cole Potts, JMU
OC: Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon
OG: Clay Webb, Jacksonville State
OT: Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State
2023 First-Team All-American Defense
EDGE: Laiatu Latu, UCLA
DT: Patrick Jenkins, Tulane
DT: Braden Fiske, Florida State
EDGE: Jalen Green, JMU
LB: Payton Wilson, NC State
LB: Jason Henderson, ODU
LB: Edgerrin Cooper, Texas A&M
CB: Beanie Bishop Jr., West Virginia
CB: Terrion Arnold, Alabama
CB: Ricardo Hallman, Wisconsin
S: Billy Bowman Jr., Oklahoma
S: Tykee Smith, Georgia
FLEX: Jarrian Jones, Florida State
NC State DB Cecil Powell Enters the Transfer Portal
NC State Redshirt Junior Defensive Back Cecil Powell just announced he is entering the Transfer Portal.
— Cecil Powell 🏈🔥🐐 (@CPowell_4) December 7, 2023
Powell played in 12 games this season, but in 7 of those games, he strictly played on Special Teams. In the 5 games he played on defense, he logged 5 tackles in 43 snaps.
He missed the past two seasons due to injury after playing a significant role in 2020, when he started 5 games and played 497 snaps. In that year, he had 47 tackles, and 4 pass breakups.
In 2019, his first season at NC State, Powell played Cornerback…then Wide Receiver…then Cornerback again, logging 95 snaps in 4 games from the line of scrimmage (he did play in 7 other games on Special Teams).
Powell was listed as Robert Kennedy III’s backup at Nickelback this season. He has 2 more years of eligibility.
NC State has had 19 players enter the Transfer Portal
WR Christopher Scott
OL Jaleel Davis
WR Josh Crabtree
OL Lyndon Cooper
WR Terrell Timmons
LB Torren Wright
NT C.J. Clark
QB MJ Morris
S Jakeen Harris
TE Cedd Seabrough
WR Porter Rooks
DB Nate Evans
LB Daejuan Thompson
RB Jordan Houston
RB Michael Allen
DB Darius Edmundson
WR Anthony Smith
TE Christopher Toudle
NC State’s Payton Wilson Earns USA Today All-American 1st Team Honors
The honors keep rolling in, and I don’t expect them to stop. NC State Linebacker was named to the USA Today All-American 1st Team yesterday.
QB: Jayden Daniels, LSU
RB: Ollie Gordon II, Oklahoma State
RB: Cody Schrader, Missouri
WR: Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State
WR: Malik Nabers, LSU
TE: Brock Bowers, Georgia
OL: Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Penn State
OL: Zak Zinter, Michigan
OL: Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon
OL: Cooper Beebe, Kansas State
OL: Joe Alt, Notre Dame
DL: Laiatu Latu, UCLA
DL: Jer’Zhan Newton, Illinois
DL: T’Vondre Sweat, Texas
DL: Jalen Green, James Madison
LB: Payton Wilson, North Carolina State
LB: Dallas Turner, Alabama
LB: Jay Higgins, Iowa
CB: Cooper DeJean, Iowa
CB: Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama
S: Malaki Starks, Georgia
S: Xavier Watts, Notre Dame
K: Graham Nicholson, Miami (Ohio)
P: Tory Taylor, Iowa
RET: Zachariah Branch, Southern California
ALL-PURPOSE: Ashton Jeanty, Boise State