NC State 30, ECU 24
From Tim Peeler's recap:
“For the first time since I have been here, we finally played 60 minutes of tough, hard-nosed football,” said Wolfpack second-year coach Tom O’Brien. “It paid off in the end.”
The offensive line brought its best effort of the season, giving Russell Wilson excellent pass protection, and Wilson responded with an outstanding effort of his own, completing 67.7% of his passes while averaging 6.8 yards per attempt. The passing game hadn't shown this much life against a I-A opponent since last October's UVa game.
The Wolfpack defense slowed Patrick Pinkney like no other opponent has this season, holding him to a sub-60 completion percentage and keeping his yards per attempt under seven.
-- Wilson's play allowed the coaches to diversify their first down play calling a bit; State threw the ball on 45% of its first downs, and Wilson was 9-11 for 88 yards.
-- The Pack's 384 total yards were the most given up the East Carolina this season; ditto the Pack's 5.3 yards/play average. It was the first time in '08 that we've averaged more than five yards per play, and our highest total yardage out put since last year's Carolina game.
-- The Wolfpack has had an even-or-better turnover margin in all four games. We're averaging 5.5 penalties per game so far, down from 6.6 in 2007 and 7.2 in 2006.
-- Brad Pierson: six punts, 45.5-yard average.
-- Some ECU players thought it would be fun to mock the wolfie sign as they ran onto the field pre-game. Not seeing any hand signals from the Pirates after the game, Wolfpack fans near the visitors' tunnel helpfully reminded them how to properly form the sign.
-- It's nice when football is fun, isn't it? Rebuilding is a lot easier to stomach when there's a Saturday or two like yesterday.
-- Game photos.