Oct 3, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  North Carolina State Wolfpack quarterback Devin Leary (13) passes against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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NC State rallies to slay No. 24 Pittsburgh

Devin Leary’s fourth touchdown pass went to Emeka Emezie for 13 yards with 23 seconds remaining as visiting North Carolina State stunned No. 24 Pittsburgh 30-29 on Saturday afternoon at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

After quarterback Kenny Pickett scored his second touchdown run of the day on a 1-yard run with 1:44 remaining for Pittsburgh, the Wolfpack drove 79 yards without a timeout. A fourth-and-nine pass play from Leary to Thayer Thomas kept the possession alive.

Pickett completed 22 of 39 passes for 411 yards and one touchdown in the Atlantic Coast Conference game. His two-point conversion pass was incomplete following the team’s final touchdown.

DJ Turner had eight receptions for 186 yards for the Panthers (3-1, 2-1 ACC), who were aiming for their first 4-0 start to a season in 20 years.

Leary, making his first start of the season, threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Cary Angeline with 8:16 remaining as the Wolfpack (2-1, 2-1) took the lead. Leary ended up 28-for-44 for 336 yards.

The Panthers moved 80 yards to the NC State 1 and were denied on four straight plays in the third quarter. The next time the marched into Wolfpack territory, they converted on Pickett’s 1-yard go-ahead run with 1:11 to play in the third quarter.

Alex Kessman’s 42-yard field goal pushed Pittsburgh’s lead to 23-17 with 10:52 remaining.

NC State dominated most of the first half, but led only 17-13 at the break after a pair of Kessman field goals in the final five minutes of the second quarter. At one point, the Wolfpack held a 16-2 advantage in first downs.

Pittsburgh scored on the game’s second snap when Pickett connected with freshman Jordan Addison for a 75-yard play. Addison was undefended on a busted coverage. Addison left later in the first half with an injury after making only two catches.

NC State posted the next 17 points. Leary hooked up with Angeline for a 6-yard touchdown to complete a 17-play drive. Christopher Dunn’s 39-yard field goal and Leary’s 35-yard touchdown pass to Emezie (seven catches, 101 yards) helped stretch the advantage to 17-7.

By halftime, Pittsburgh had been penalized 10 times for 90 yards. But NC State committed a big infraction as Jakeen Harris had an 86-yard interception return for a touchdown nullified by Josh Pierre-Louis’ targeting penalty for a hit on Pickett — also resulting in Pierre-Louis’ ejection.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
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