Defense, Special Teams Lead NC State to 24-17 Win at Syracuse

Photo credit: GoPack.com

McKever's 82-yard INT return, 8 Pack sacks help fuel Pack's road win

RALEIGH, N.C. (GoPack.com) - NC State used a combination of strong defense and special teams play, along with timely Pack offensive drives, to come away with a 24-17 ACC road win at Syracuse. Down 14-9, NC State's DE Pharoah McKever returned an INT 82 yards for the go-ahead score and changed the momentum of the game, as the Pack defense caused three second-half turnovers and had eight sacks on the day to secure the win.

WOLFPACK DRIVE OF THE GAME - 1st Half
9 plays, 52 yard FG drive to open the game.

NC State came out and took the game's opening kickoff down the field for a field goal. The Pack put together a 9-play, 52-yard drive, resulting in Niklas Sade's first field goal of the game (43 yards). On the drive, Jacoby Brissett was 5-of-6 for 47 yards.

WOLFPACK DRIVE OF THE GAME - 2nd Half
5 plays, 35-yard TD drive in fourth quarter.

Rodman Noel caused a Syracuse fumble at the Orange 35-yard line, and then NC State went 35 yards in five plays to seal the road victory. Jacoby Brissett found Shadrach Thornton on third down, and Thornton's 18-yard scamper put the Pack up two scores.

MOMENT OF THE GAME
DE Pharoah McKever's 82-yard interception return for a TD in the third quarter.

With the Pack down 14-9 and Syracuse driving for a score for its third straight possession, DE McKever dropped into coverage and into the path of a A.J. Long pass and returned it 82 yards for the Pack's first TD of the day. After a two-point conversion, NC State held a 17-14 lead.

The INT return was the first since last year's Central Michigan game (D.J. Greene), and the sixth-longest INT return in school history (and the longest since a 2001 Marcus Hudson 100-yard return at Duke).