NC State withstands Hurricane Matthew, beats Notre Dame

Dr. Saturday

Saturday’s NC State-Notre Dame game taught us a lesson: It is difficult to play football in a hurricane.

Hurricane Matthew brought a torrential downpour and awful field conditions to Raleigh, but NC State was able to knock off the Irish at home, 10-3. Both offenses could manage just a field goal apiece, but the Wolfpack were able to pull in front on a special teams play.

With the game tied 3-3 early in the fourth quarter, Notre Dame sent out its punt unit. NC State’s Pharoah McKever fought through two Irish blockers and got his hand on the ball. From there, Dexter Wright picked up the slippery ball and took it 16 yards for the deciding score.

ncsu block
ncsu block

Here’s another look. The 6-foot-6 McKever managed to get his right hand on the ball and then had the block to seal the touchdown. Great effort.

ncsu block 3
ncsu block 3

From there, Notre Dame had two tries to tie the score. The first ended with a fumble by quarterback DeShone Kizer, who understandably struggled all afternoon in the messy conditions.

After the Irish defense forced a three-and-out, the offense regained possession at its own 20 and put together its best drive of the day. Notre Dame moved into NC State territory, converting on two fourth-down plays in the process.

NC State’s Matthews Dayes (21) rushed for 126 yards in the win over Notre Dame. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
NC State’s Matthews Dayes (21) rushed for 126 yards in the win over Notre Dame. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

The Irish moved all the way to the Wolfpack 18 with 2:20 to go, but things disintegrated from there. Eventually, the Irish faced a fourth-and-8, but could not convert this time. Kizer was lined up in the shotgun and center Sam Mustipher snapped the ball before Kizer was ready. Even if Kizer was expecting the snap, the ball was snapped low and would have made things difficult for the quarterback.

Kizer was able to corral the loose ball, but Wolfpack defenders closed quickly and the Irish turned it over. From there, NC State’s win was sealed when running back Matthew Dayes (126 yards rushing) reeled off a 24-yard run, allowing the Wolfpack to take a knee and win the ballgame.

After the win, NC State players celebrated the only way you should after playing in a hurricane:

The win is the third in a row for the Wolfpack, now 4-1, and gives them a nice boost heading into Clemson next weekend.

For Notre Dame, which put up just 113 yards in the loss, its disastrous season has another chapter. The Irish are now 2-4, by far the worst start during Brian Kelly’s tenure. Things won’t get any easier for the Irish, either, with Stanford coming into South Bend next weekend.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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