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NC State Football

NC State 30 #17 UNC 27: Initial Thoughts



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!


Matthew is Co-Owner of Pack Insider. He writes for all sports, with a focus on football and recruiting, and is in charge of business strategy. He is an NC State alum who majored in business. Matthew is also the lead pastor of The Point Church in Cary, NC.

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2 months ago

Unbelievable! Our 4th string QB out passed their Heisman trophy candidate.
Most unlikely win in my experience

2 months ago

What an awesome win! Love snatching hope away from the holes.

Great effort all the way around. Finley was calm and cool the entire game, with few mistakes. We still hurt ourselves with penalties on critical downs, but it was an intense road game.

Great coaching job. Beck made up for some headscratching red zone calls in the end, and give him credit for having Finley ready to go.

Great to see Carter back in action.

The endless gushing of the announcers over Maye was embarassing, and somewhat nauseating.

Last edited 2 months ago by Dof87

NC State Football

NC State’s 2023 Football Schedule has Arrived!



NC State’s 2023 Football schedule was released yesterday.



  • NC State will play all three in-state ACC rivals: UNC, Duke and Wake Forest
  • NC State has two Friday night games back to back: UVA & Louisville
  • NC State will play Quarterback Brennan Armstrong’s former team UVA on 9/22.
  • NC State will host Notre Dame for the 2nd time ever, and will face a familiar face in former Wake Forest Quarterback Sam Hartman.
  • In the first year without Divisions in the ACC, 5 of NC State’s 8 conference opponents will be teams that were in the Coastal Division last year: UVA, UNC, Miami, Duke, VT.
    • The three former Atlantic Division opponents are: Clemson, Wake Forest and Louisville

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NC State Football

NC State’s 2023 Football Recruiting Class has the Most 4-Star Players in the Dave Doeren Era



NC State’s 2023 football recruiting class is currently ranked 30th nationally by ON3, but I think you can make an argument that this could be Dave Doeren’s best class since he’s been in Raleigh.

Currently, 9 of the 18 players that make up the class (not including collegiate transfers) are 4-star prospects. You would think a class that included 9 4-star prospects would be ranked higher than 30th, but the reason it isn’t, is because different recruiting services rank players differently.

This is the most 4-star players that Doeren has ever had in a single class.

2023 – 9
2022 – 7
2021 – 8
2020 – 3
2019 – 7
2018 – 6
2017 – 4
2016 – 2
2015 – 5
2014 – 6
2013 – 2

4-Star Players in the Wolfpack’s 2023 Recruiting Class

Safety Daemon Fagan (247, ON3, Rivals & ESPN)
Tight End Javonte Vereen (ON3 & ESPN)
Safety Zack Myers (247 & Rivals)
Running Back Kendrick Raphael (ESPN & Rivals)
JUCO Defensive Lineman Jykeveous Hibbler (ESPN)
JUCO Safety Bishop Fitzgerald (ON3)
Offensive Lineman Darion Rivers (ON3)
Wide Receiver Kevin Concepcion (Rivals)
Cornerback Brandon Cisse (ON3)

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NC State Football

Former NC State Defensive End Claude Larkins Commits to FIU



Former NC State Defensive End Claude Larkins has committed to play for Florida International University.

On January 1st, Larkins made it official that he was entering the Transfer Portal.

Larkins only played 11 snaps in 1 game this season (Charleston Southern), and recorded 1 tackle. In 2021, he played 16 snaps in 1 game and recorded 2 tackles.

He was a 3-star recruit out of Hollywood, Florida, in the 2020 recruiting class, so heading to Miami puts him at around an hour from his hometown.

Larkins has three years of eligibility remaining.

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NC State Football

NC State will Host Notre Dame for their 2023 Football Home Opener



It’s official. NC State’s football home opener will be against Notre Dame next Fall.

The Wolfpack defense will see a familiar face across the line of scrimmage throwing the pigskin. Former Wake Forest Quarterback Sam Hartman transferred to play for the Irish for his final year of eligibility.

This will mark the 4th time Hartman has faced NC State in his career.

Notre Dame finished the 2022 season ranked 18th in the AP Poll, with a 9-4 record.

This will mark the 4th time the Wolfpack have played the Irish, and the second time at home. The other time Notre Dame came to Raleigh, NC State won 10-3 in a hurricane. The Wolfpack have won 2 of their 3 games against the Irish.

The Wolfpack’s other non-conference opponents in 2023 will be at UCONN, and VMI and Marshall at home.

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