NC State spreads the TDs around in 42-29 defeat of Syracuse
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) North Carolina State was dominant running the ball and effective passing it. Even the defense got in on the scoring.
Reggie Gallaspy rushed for 81 yards and a touchdown for the Wolfpack (7-4, 3-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), who improved to 8-1 all-time against the Orange.
N.C. State rolled up 511 total yards, including 276 on the ground, in a balanced attack.
''We just made sure that we did everything,'' wide receiver Jumichael Ramos said. ''The run was going well, and also the passing game was going well. There were a lot of hard things that they had to stop.''
Dakwa Nichols ran for 78 yards and a touchdown, and Nyheim Hines rushed for 70 yards and a score for the Wolfpack.
Zack Mahoney passed for 152 yards and two touchdowns for Syracuse (3-8, 1-6).
The Orange suffered their eighth consecutive loss, six of which have come by double digits.
''It was a frustrating loss for us,'' Syracuse coach Scott Shafer said. ''Once again, the kids played hard.''
Jordan Fredericks had a 75-yard touchdown run for Syracuse on the first play of the second half to cut N.C. State's lead to 21-16, but the Orange never got closer.
The Wolfpack answered with a 73-yard scoring drive capped by a 5-yard touchdown catch by Ramos.
''Everybody was a family today,'' Hines said. ''You expect the offense to score, but it's always a special day when the defense scores, too. When that happens, you just kind of know it's your day and it's going great for you.''
The final score was not indicative of how ugly the day was for the Orange.
Fellow receiver Steve Ishmael was ejected later, picking up his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty of the game after catching a 3-yard touchdown pass with 2:37 remaining.
''I think we fought the whole way but lost our composure, which starts with me,'' Shafer said.
The Wolfpack stretched their lead to 42-16 on a 17-yard touchdown run by Nichols early in the fourth quarter before Syracuse added a pair of late touchdowns.
Oliver Vigille scored on a 29-yard fumble return after Brissett dropped the ball while trying to hand off, and Ishmael scored after the Orange recovered the ensuing onside kick.
''It obviously could have been prettier there at the end,'' N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said. ''It ended up being pretty interesting. I'm disappointed in that but happy with how we played overall.''
The Wolfpack led 21-9 at halftime, moving the ball effectively on all five of their possessions in the first half. They outgained the Orange 317-106 through two quarters, gashing Syracuse for 192 yards on the ground.
The lead could have been much larger if not for two missed opportunities. Kyle Bambard's 46-yard field goal attempt clanged off the right upright early in the second quarter, and Brissett was intercepted by Antwan Cordy at the Syracuse 15 just before halftime.
The Orange stayed in the game on the strength of their final drive of the first half. Mahoney threw a 30-yard scoring strike to Ervin Phillips with 1:31 remaining, but Mahoney's two-point pass attempt failed.