Wilson, Wolfpack top Wake Forest 21-17
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)—Russell Wilson passed for two touchdowns and ran for another to lead North Carolina State past Wake Forest 21-17 on Saturday night.
The redshirt freshman was 16-of-33 for 152 yards with scoring passes covering 11 yards to George Bryan and 8 yards to Anthony Hill in his fourth straight multi-touchdown game for the Wolfpack (4-6, 2-4 Atlantic Coast Conference).
He helped them win their second straight against an in-state league rival, take another step toward bowl eligibility and deal a serious blow to the Demon Deacons’ hopes of capturing a second Atlantic Division title in three years.
Wake Forest marched to the Wolfpack 25 in the final minute before defensive tackle Alan-Michael Cash stuffed Riley Skinner on fourth-and-6—one play after Skinner’s pass to the end zone went harmlessly off receiver Marshall Williams’ fingers.
Receiver D.J. Boldin caught a touchdown pass and threw another on a trick play for Wake Forest (6-4, 4-3), and Skinner was 21-of-33 for 176 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Shane Popham’s 24-yard field goal in the final seconds of the third quarter gave the Demon Deacons their only lead, 17-14.
That’s when Wilson took over, leading the Wolfpack downfield and doing it primarily with his legs. He carried three times for 27 yards on the 11-play drive before capping the series by rolling left and finding Hill in the back of the end zone with 10:17 remaining.
The Wolfpack have won 15 of 21 against Wake Forest, and they have their young star quarterback to thank for the latest win, after Wilson accounted for touchdowns on his team’s first and last drives of the first half.
He capped their 12-play, opening drive with his scoring pass to Bryan, the backup tight end. His 4-yard keeper with 1:39 before the break put N.C. State up 14-7.
It didn’t last long. Skinner led the Demon Deacons 68 yards in just 1:35, running 19 yards on third-and-8 two plays before his tying 7-yard touchdown pass to Boldin with 5 seconds left.
The Demon Deacons’ first score came on Boldin’s 64-yard trick play. He took the ball on a reverse and flung it deep for Williams, who got way behind cornerback DeAndre Morgan and caught the pass in stride to make it 7-7.
The defense helped Wake Forest take a brief lead. Alphonso Smith came hard on the corner blitz, hit Wilson from behind and knocked the ball loose, and Boo Robinson recovered it at the Wolfpack 13 to set up Popham’s kick with 9 seconds left in the third.