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NC State takes advantage of mistakes to defeat UConn

Aug 31, 2023; East Hartford, Connecticut, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack quarterback Brennan Armstrong (5) runs the ball against UConn Huskies linebacker Jackson Mitchell (8) in the second quarter at Rentschler Field at Pratt & Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina State took advantage of a trio of costly UConn penalties in the third quarter to earn a 24-14 victory over the Huskies in East Hartford, Conn., on Thursday night in the season opener for both teams.

Trailing 10-7, UConn seemed to stop the Wolfpack on a fourth-and-2 with 3:12 left in the third when Brennan Armstrong’s pass to Keyon Lesane fell incomplete. Tui Faumuina-Brown was called for pass interference, though, and Delbert Mimms’ 2-yard rushing touchdown two plays later pushed NC State’s lead to 10.

Victor Rosa responded with a 71-yard rushing score, but he did a somersault into the end zone and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.

With the 15-yard penalty enforced, Julian Gray returned the ensuing kickoff 40 yards, and NC State got 15 more yards due to an unnecessary roughness call.

Isiah Davis had hit Wolfpack safety Rakeim Ashford late, and Ashford hit the turf hard and had to be stretchered off the field. He was taken to a hospital for further evaluation but was showing signs of movement.

NC State then took just four plays to move 27 yards downfield, taking a 24-14 lead when Armstrong scored on an 8-yard scramble to seal the victory.

Armstrong, making his Wolfpack debut after five seasons at Virginia, completed 17 of 26 passes for 155 yards. He also carried the ball 19 times for 96 yards while scoring twice.

Joe Fagnano threw for 113 yards and an interception on 14-of-26 passing in his UConn debut. He spent the last four seasons at Maine.

Rosa tallied 99 yards and two TDs on nine carries.

The Huskies took over at their own 32 with 4:34 left in the first half when Brayden Narveson’s 50-yard field-goal attempt came up short.

But UConn couldn’t take advantage and went three-and-out, and Narveson redeemed himself by putting a 44-yarder through the uprights as time expired to send the Wolfpack into the break up 10-7.

After Rosa ran for an 18-yard touchdown with 8:21 left in the first quarter, NC State responded with a nine-play, 66-yard drive that ended with Armstrong’s 4-yard scamper to the end zone to make it 7-7.

–Field Level Media