Wolfpack Falls in 2015 Belk Bowl



CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Mississippi State scored the game's first 21 points, then had to sustain a Wolfpack second quarter comeback, as NC State fell 51-28 in the 2015 Belk Bowl in Charlotte.

Mississippi State jumped out to a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter, but the Wolfpack responded with back-to-back touchdowns to close the gap to 21-14. Tight end, Pharoah McKever, who made the switch to offense from defensive end for bowl practices, caught an 82-yard TD pass and Jaylen Samuels followed with a 48-yard TD rush. But the Bulldogs scored the final 10 points of the quarter and held a 31-14 halftime lead.

The teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter, with MSU missing the extra point but still holding a 37-21 edge. The Bulldogs tacked on two more fourth quarter scores, before Samuels added his second rushing score for the final margin.


• Pharoah McKever's 82-yard TD catch in the second quarter was the second-longest pass in Belk Bowl history (83 yards). It also set a NC State bowl game record for longest pass.

• McKever now has two career touches for NC State - both resulting in an 82-yard touchdown. Today, McKever's first game on offense result in his first TD catch. Last year at Syracuse while lining up as a defensive end, McKever dropped back into coverage and his 82-yard INT was returned for the winning score for NC State.

• Jaylen Samuel's 48-yard rushing score in the second quarter was his second-longest rush of the season (66 vs. Clemson). With his two rushing scores, Samuel's finished with nine rushing TDs on the season and 16 total TD on the year. The 16 total TDs tie as the third-most in a single season in school history - on T.A. McLendon (18 in 2002), Stan Fritts (17-1972), and Torry Holt (16-1997) have had more.

• With his second quater TD pass, Jacoby Brissett finished his two-year NC State career with 43 career passing TDs - the fifth-most in school history. Brissett also rushed for a third quarter TD, and has accounted for 52 total TDs in his career - tied for fifth-most alltime.