PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Trailing by five with 1:44 left to go in the game, quarterback Devin Leary calmly led the Pack on an eight-play, 79-yard drive, finding senior Emeka Emezie in the endzone for the winning score with 23 seconds to play.
The Panthers had taken 29-23 a lead with a 13-play, 72-yard drive that was capped off by a quarterback sneak, but NC State’s game-winning drive sealed the 30-29 victory for the Wolfpack.
Pitt jumped out to the early lead with a 75-yard TD pass just two plays into the game.
NC State answered with back-to-back scoring drives, getting points on both first quarter possession. Leary, making his first start of the season, led a 17-play drive to open the game and found Cary Angeline from six yards out for the Pack’s first TD. Christopher Dunn booted a 39-yard field to make it 10-7 at the end of the first quarter.
The Pack took its third possession of the game in for another TD, as Leary found Emeka Emezie from 35 yards out to extend the lead to 17-7. Pitt answered with a pair of field goals to make it 17-13 at the half.
After a Wolfpack three-and-out to start the third, Pitt had first-and-goal from the NC State one-yard line. The Pack defense stepped up – no gain, no gain, incomplete and two-yard loss – to force the turnover on downs on Pitts’s first offensive possession of the third quarter.
The Panthers, however, claimed their first lead since that opening drive with a one-yard TD rush in the final minute of the third quarter to go up 20-17 heading into the fourth.
WOLFPACK SPOTLIGHT DRIVE – 1st Half
17 plays, 75 yards, 6:21 – Leary to Angeline 6-yd TD pass
After Pitt opened the game with a TD drive, the Wolfpack responded with a TD drive of its own on the first offensive possession. NC State went 75 yards in 17 plays to even the game at 7-7 midway through the first quarter. The Pack was 4-of-4 on third downs, and the drive was capped by a Leary to Angeline 6-yard TD pass.
WOLFPACK SPOTLIGHT DRIVE – 2nd Half
7 plays, 72 yards, 2:36 – Leary to Angeline 25-yd TD pass
After back-to-back scoring drives by Pitt gave the Panthers a 23-17 lead with 10 minutes to play in the game, the Pack answered with its best drive of the second half, a seven-play, 72-yard drive that was finished with Leary finding Angeline with a 25-yard TD pass on 3rd-and-16.
• QB Devin Leary
28-of-44 for 336 yards, 4 TD
• WR Emeka Emezie
7 catches for 101 yards, 2 TD
• TE Cary Angeline
4 catches for 60 yards, 2 TD
• DB Tanner Ingle
8 tackles, 2 PBU
• NC State collected its first road win at a ranked ACC school since winning at No. 11 Florida State in 2017.
• Dave Doeren is 2-for-2 at Heinz Field against Pitt as head coach of the Wolfpack. Along with Saturday’s win, the 2017 NC State squad won at Pitt 35-17.
The Pack will conclude its three-game ACC road stretch with a trip to Virginia next weekend. The game will kick from Charlottesville at noon and will be televised on the ACC Network.