Devin Leary threw for 303 yards and two touchdowns, and No. 20 NC State’s defense took care of the rest in the Wolfpack’s 41-17 victory over visiting Syracuse in an Atlantic Coast Conference game on Saturday in Raleigh, N.C.
Leary went 17-of-24 passing and found nine different receivers, led by Thayer Thomas, who had four receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown, and Christopher Toudle, who had 35 yards and a touchdown on four catches.
Ricky Person rushed for 50 yards and a score on 12 carries as the Wolfpack (8-3, 5-2 ACC) amassed 399 yards of total offense.
Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader struggled against the Wolfpack defense, as he went just 8-for-20 passing for 63 yards and an interception, in addition to being sacked five times. Sean Tucker, who rushed for 105 yards and a score on 13 carries, was the lone bright spot for the Orange (5-6, 2-5), who were held to 236 yards of total offense.
After a scoreless first quarter, Person’s 15-yard touchdown run capped a four-play, 75-yard drive that gave the Wolfpack a 7-0 lead with 6:14 left in the quarter. NC State doubled its lead less than a minute later, when linebacker Drake Thomas stepped in front of Shrader’s pass and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown with 5:25 left in the half.
Syracuse trimmed the lead to 14-7 when Tucker raced 55 yards into the end zone to cap a four-play, 65-yard drive with 3:16 left. However, NC State regained its two-touchdown lead 15 seconds later when Zonovan Knight returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a score with 3:01 left in the quarter.
NC State extended its lead to 28-7 when Leary threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Toudle with eight seconds left in the first half.
The Wolfpack pushed their lead to 31-7 on Chris Dunn’s 37-yard field goal less than five minutes into the second half before Syracuse countered with Andre Szmyt’s 45-yard field goal with 6:41 left in the quarter.
Leary extended the lead to 38-10 with an eight-yard touchdown strike to Thomas that capped an eight-play, 65-yard drive with 2:15 left in the third quarter.
Shrader pulled the Orange to within 38-17 on a 48-yard run with 8:45 remaining in the game before NC State capped the scoring on Dunn’s 21-yard field goal with less than four minutes left.
–Field Level Media