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The Wolfpack defeated the Cavaliers to kickoff their ACC slate tonight, winning 24-21 with a field goal as time expired. Here are some initial thoughts.


For starters, a win is a win. NC State improved to 3-1, and they are now 1-0, picking up a road win in ACC play.

True Freshman Receiver KC Concepcion had the best game of his young career, catching 6 passes (10 targets) for 116 yards with 2 touchdowns.

The Linebacker tandem of Payton Wilson and Caden Fordham filled the box score. Wilson finished with 13 tackles, 0.5 sack and a QB Hurry. Fordham had 12 tackles 1 tackle for loss and 1 QB Hurry.

Punter Caden Noonkester had himself a heck of a day, punting the ball 6 times for an average of 50 yards, with the longest one traveling 67 yards.

NC State won the turnover margin battle, intercepting two passes (Sean Brown & Aydan White), compared to Virginia’s one.

Julian Gray’s proved that he can change a game with his kick returning abilities for the second straight week. With 44 seconds left on the clock, Gray returned a kickoff 35 yards to UVA’s 48-yard line, putting the Wolfpack in the position they needed to work their way into field goal range.

NC State was fortunate to get a penalty on UVA’s QB for taking off his helmet after converting on the 2-point conversion. Without that penalty, Gray might not have the same opportunity to return the ball into UVA territory.

Place Kicker Brayden Narveson hit a walk-off game-winning 33-yard field goal, in the rain, on the road, with time expiring.

Delbert Mimms III picked up his 4th rushing touchdown of the season.


UVA had more total yards than NC State (384/319).

The Cavaliers won the time of possession battle (32:34/27:26).

Brennan Armstrong did not look sharp or accurate on many of his passes. His completion percentage was a very mediocre 50%. He led NC State in rush attempts (15) and rushing yards (64), which might seem cool, but on quite a few of those runs, there were open receivers down the field.

The Wolfpack secondary was torched by UVA Wide Receiver Malik Washington, catching 10 passes for 170 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Michael Allen didn’t shine in his opportunity to start at Running Back after the exodus of Jordan Houston this week, gaining only 36 yards on 10 carries.

The Wolfpack defense gave up 6 receptions of 15+ yards, and 4 rushes of 10+ yards.


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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NC State Football

NC State LB Payton Wilson Wins the Bednarik Award!



NC State’s Payton Wilson won the Butkus Award earlier this week, naming him the best Linebacker in college football. Tonight he won the Bednarik Award, which has been given out annually to the best defensive player in college football since 1995.

Wilson beat out Alabama Linebacker Dallas Turner and UCLA’s Defensive End Laiatu Latu.

Prior to this week, no NC State Linebacker had ever won the Butkus Award. Prior to tonight, no NC State defensive player had ever won the Bednarik Award.

Below is a list of the former Bednarik Award winners.

In one week, Wilson has done what no other Linebacker of defensive player at NC State has ever done.

Go ahead and retire the #11 already!


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NC State Football

Wake Forest Transfer WR Welsey Grimes Commits to NC State!



NC State just picked up their first transfer of the 2024 class, and it’s a big one. Former Wake Forest Wide Receiver Wesley Grimes (6’2″/187) just committed to run with the Wolfpack.

As a Sophomore this season, Grimes caught 20 passes for 339 yards and 4 touchdowns in 12 games. As a True Freshman last year, he played in his 6 games, collecting 4 receptions for 33 yards and a touchdown.

In all reality, Grimes is coming home. He was a 4-Star prospect out of Millbrook High School here in Raleigh. ON3, 247Sports and Rivals all ranked Grimes as a Top-250 prospect in the 2022 recruiting class, with Rivals ranking him as the #36 overall player nationally, the #4 Wide Receiver, and the #2 player in the state of North Carolina.

From a recruiting rankings standpoint, Grimes instantly becomes the highest ranked player on NC State’s roster. Since he played as a True Freshman, Grimes has 3 seasons to play 2 years of eligibility.

Back in 2021, Grimes chose the Demon Deacons over NC State, Tennessee, Duke and Louisville. On December 8th, 2023, Grimes decided to come back home and run with the Pack.

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NC State Football

Kansas State will be Without Their Offensive Coordinator & Starting Quarterback Against NC State



Kansas State will be without their Offensive Coordinator and starting Quarterback when they face NC State in the Pop-Tarts Bowl on December 28th.

New Texas A&M head coach Mike Elko, who just left the same position at Duke, paid big bucks to hire Wildcats Offensive Coordinator Collin Klein as his OC, who had been serving in the position at Kansas State for the past 2 seasons. For the past 7 seasons, Klein has served as the Wildcats Quarterbacks Coach.

This season, Kansas State ranks 23rd in Total Offense (446.1) and 14th in Rushing Offense (199.7).

As Quarterbacks Coach, he helped develop four-year starter Will Howard, who announced he would be entering the Transfer Portal on November 27th. This season, Howard earned 2nd Team All-Big 12 honors. In 12 games, he threw for 2,643 yards and 24 touchdowns (10 interceptions). Howard also rushed for 351 yards and 9 touchdowns.

Howard will be replaced by Freshman Avery Johnson. There was speculation that Johnson might follow Klein to Texas A&M, but he will be starting for the Wildcats in Orlando against the Wolfpack.

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NC State Football

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)

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