Morris, No. 24 Wolfpack rally past Hokies for 22-21 win

RALEIGH, N.C. – For the second straight residence recreation, North Carolina State discovered itself down double figures after halftime. And simply as earlier than, the Twenty fourth-ranked Wolfpack responded with grit and resilience.

First-year quarterback MJ Morris threw for 3 second-half touchdowns to assist N.C. State rally from 18 factors down within the third quarter to beat Virginia Tech 22-21 on Thursday evening.

“The youngsters simply do not give up right here,” Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren mentioned.

Morris took over for starter Jack Chambers to guide an surprising comeback for the Wolfpack (6-2, 2-2 Atalntic Coast Convention), who trailed 21-3 after Grant Wells’ 20-yard TD keeper with 4:02 within the third quarter.

As a substitute, N.C. State in some way discovered a method to make its greatest comeback since rallying from 27 right down to beat Maryland in 2011. It additionally marked the Wolfpack’s second comeback from a double-digit deficit after halftime this month, going again to a rally from 17-3 down on the break in opposition to Florida State on Oct. 8.

This one was arguably extra important for a staff that had been reeling offensively since dropping quarterback and preseason ACC participant of the 12 months Devin Leary to a season-ending damage within the Florida State victory. However after wanting like each yard was a battle, Morris and the Wolfpack began pushing the ball downfield and connecting to instantly change momentum.

“There was numerous issues moving into my head, however the one factor I attempted to concentrate on was doing my job for the staff,” Morris mentioned.

It began with a 35-yard deep throw from Morris to Thayer Thomas with 1:42 left within the third. Morris adopted with a 7-yard rating to Trent Pennix early within the fourth, then hit Thomas once more on a brief throw that the receiver lower up the center of the sector and scored from 18 yards out with 7:38 mark.

After its veteran protection compelled a three-and-out, the Wolfpack stored the chains shifting on a last drive that ate up the final 5:35 to seal the win.

Thomas completed with 10 catches for 118 yards and the 2 scores for the Wolfpack.

Wells ran for 2 scores and hit Kaleb Smith for an 85-yard rating within the third for the Hokies (2-6, 1-4).

“To me, you have to have a better’s mentality within the fourth quarter,” first-year coach Brent Pry mentioned. “You have to play your very best. we simply wanted a play or two to alter the end result. And we’ll get there.”


Virginia Tech: This one might be tough to get previous for the Hokies, who appeared on their method to ending the Wolfpack’s 14-game residence profitable streak and giving Pry his first street win in 4 tries. As a substitute, the offense that instantly discovered success attacking the Wolfpack’s veteran protection sputtered when it wanted an enormous drive and the protection gave up three straight TD drives.

N.C. State: The Wolfpack went via a bye week with an opportunity to tweak the offense to raised go well with the strengths of Chambers within the wake of Leary’s loss. However Morris additionally acquired loads of reps and shortly proved the simpler passer because the Wolfpack wanted to get extra aggressive down huge — and it labored.


N.C. State, which peaked at No. 10 this 12 months, may fall out of the AP High 25 with Sunday’s subsequent ballot after struggling to beat a two-win staff. Then once more, one other spectacular present of resilience may stand out for voters.


N.C. State has now gained 15 straight residence video games since dropping to Miami in 2020. That put the Wolfpack inside one in every of tying this system document set from 1972-75 beneath Lou Holtz.


The Hokies had 13 penalties for 69 yards. That included being flagged 10 instances for false begins, with 5 coming within the first quarter alone.


Virginia Tech: The Hokies return residence to face Georgia Tech on Nov. 5.

N.C. State: It is a rematch of final 12 months’s instate Atlantic Division thriller when No. 10 Wake Forest visits Raleigh on Nov. 5.


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