N.C. State left a lot of plays on the field in Miami.
The Hurricanes won 31-30, but the Wolfpack had the ball with a chance to drive and steal a win. A dropped pass and a blown coverage changed all of that.
Miami had one less yard (421-420) than N.C. State, but made one more play when it counted the most. That was the story of the night as the Hurricanes won a conference game for the first time this season.
“We didn’t make the plays that we needed to make, that we’ve been making,” N.C. State head coach Dave Doeren said. “We helped them in some key moments. We had some really good players not make the plays they are accustomed to making.”
For the second time this season, N.C. State didn’t force a turnover in a game. The first time that happened, versus Mississippi State, also resulted in a loss. Even still, the Wolfpack had an opportunity for a win right in front of them with 3:46 remaining.
On first down Devin Leary missed Anthony Smith on a deep ball. On second down Devin Carter dropped a pass over the middle, his second drop of the game.
The Wolfpack turned the ball over on downs and never got it back. N.C. State’s defense forced Miami into a third and 16, but Tyler Van Dyke hit tight end Will Mallory over the middle for a gain of 21, sealing the deal. After the play, linebacker Drake Thomas was visibly upset that another big play was given up. Without looking at the film yet, Thomas noted part of his frustration was a miscommunication on the assignment.
“That’s a play that me and some of the other linebackers had discussed and it wasn’t the same personnel out there,” Thomas said. “I take responsibility for not talking to the next guy up and not informing him on what he was supposed to do right there.”
N.C. State also wasn’t good on third down, on both sides of the ball. They were 3-14 offensively and Miami converted six of 17.
“We weren’t good enough,” Doeren said. “Hard to win games when you don’t get any takeaways and you are 3-14 on third down. We had a chance.”