The No. 14 NC State Wolfpack entered Thursday night’s home game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons as 19-point favorites, and they took a 16-6 lead late into the third quarter.
And *lost* 27-23, to a sophomore quarterback making his first career start.
Wake Forest’s Jamie Newman completed 22-of-33 passes for 297 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions, while adding 44 yards over 13 carries on the ground.
NC State had a chance to put the game away, facing a 4th-and-3 at the Wake Forest 20-yard line with 1:43 remaining. Rather than attempt the field goal to go up six points, Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren chose to go for it. There’s nothing wrong with the aggressiveness here, but it didn’t work out for NC State.
Newman then led an eight-play, 80-yard drive, capped off with this go-ahead 32-yard touchdown pass to Jack Freudenthal with 30 seconds left:
That would serve as the game-winner, NC State quarterback Ryan Finley threw an interception on a hail mary from midfield.
Newman got some help with his wide receivers, including with these ridiculous receptions on consecutive plays in the third quarter (the second of which for a touchdown):
The win gets the Wake Forest to a .500 record on the season at 5-5 (2-4 in ACC), but the bigger thing is of course that they may have found their quarterback of the future in Newman and this win should give the program some needed momentum.
But, it’s a killer loss for an NC State team (6-3; 3-3). that was up to No. 14 on the College Football Playoff rankings.
And this comes after the Wolfpack had a heartbreaking loss as a ranked team to Wake Forest last season as well.