Oct 30, 2021; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA;  North Carolina State Wolfpack tackle Ikem Ekwonu (79) blocks during the first half against the Louisville Cardinals at Carter-Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

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NC State downs Louisville, 28-13

Devin Leary threw four touchdown passes, including a go-ahead strike in the first minute of the fourth quarter, as North Carolina State defeated visiting Louisville 28-13 on Saturday night in Raleigh, N.C.

Leary was 25-for-36 for 317 yards through the air, helping overcome the Wolfpack’s rushing woes. The team picked up just 44 yards on the ground, though it had its fourth consecutive game without a turnover.

NC State (6-2, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) is trying to stay within range of unbeaten Wake Forest in the ACC’s Atlantic Division in advance of their Nov. 13 meeting.

Leary hit Trent Pennix, who didn’t have a defender in the vicinity, with a 29-yard pass on the second play of the fourth quarter for the Wolfpack’s first lead since the first quarter.

Louisville closed to within 14-13 on James Turner’s 31-yard field goal at the 9:51 mark.

Leary’s third TD throw of the game went to Devin Carter for 12 yards with 5:53 left.

Louisville (4-4, 2-3) failed to pick up a first down on its ensuing possession. Leary made the Cardinals pay with a 10-yard scoring toss to C.J. Riley.

Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham, who was the game’s top rusher with 76 yards on 18 carries, went 11-for-28 for 219 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Louisville finished with 215 rushing yards for the game.

NC State had only 205 yards of total offense through three quarters.

Turner put Louisville on top 10-7 with a 42-yard field goal to cap the first possession of the second half.

The offenses clicked at times early in the game.

After both teams drove deep into opposing territory and came up empty — the Wolfpack on a failed fourth-down run and Louisville on a missed 24-yard field goal — NC State struck first on Leary’s 19-yard pass to Emeka Emezie in the final minute of the first quarter.

Three plays later, Cunningham’s heave to Jordan Watkins, who broke free of the defense, resulted in a 76-yard touchdown on the last play of the first quarter.

NC State was in its first full game without linebacker Isaiah Moore, who suffered a season-ending knee injury a week earlier.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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