Oct. 8, 2016
OCTOBER 8, 2016 -- The University of Notre Dame football team (2-4) lost 10-3 to NC State (4-1) at a water-logged Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The game was held in nearly unplayable conditions directly in the path of Hurricane Matthew, leading to 10 total fumbles and only 311 total yards of offense combined by both teams.
NC State earned the game-winning points on a blocked punt returned for a touchdown at by Dexter Wright at 12:43 of the fourth quarter. An Irish drive in an attempt to tie the game ended on an ill-timed snap that bounced past quarterback DeShone Kizer with 1:52 remaining in the game.
Notre Dame will return home to face Stanford on Saturday, October 15, at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC. NC State will head on the road for a challenge at third-ranked Clemson.
PLAY OF THE GAME:
NC State blocked punt for a touchdown.
The only touchdown of the game is an easy selection for the play of the game. After the Irish defense stopped NC State early in the fourth quarter, the Irish offense, now forced to play into the wind and rain, went three-and-out. Tyler Newsome came in for a punt, but with the sloppy conditions the entire punt operation was slowed to assure a clean catch of the ball. NC State's Pharoah McKever blocked the punt, it was scooped up by Dexter Wright and returned 16 yard for the game-winning points.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME:
OFFENSE: Josh Adams, 14 rushes for 51 yards.
In a game where the Irish offense struggled to earn any positive yards, Adams provided a bit of a spark in the fourth quarter, helping the Notre Dame push down the field with 22 yards rushing on the final drive.
DEFENSE: Jerry Tillery, nine tackles, five solo and one tackle-for-loss.
The Irish defense did what was required to win the game today, holding NC State to just three points and 198 yards of total offense. Tillery was a stand out on the Irish defensive line with a career-best nine tackles.
STAT OF THE GAME:
It cannot be overstated how unplayable the conditions were in Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Driving rain and 45 mile-per-hour winds from Hurricane Matthew, reported to be just 100 miles away from the stadium, turned the field into a quagmire and ball security into a priority. No matter how much each team focused on securing the ball, the teams combined for 10 total fumbles, with both teams losing two.
NOTES OF THE GAME:
With NC State's lone touchdown coming on special teams, the Notre Dame defense did not surrender a touchdown for the first time since the 2015 opener against Texas, a 38-3 Irish victory.
Tyler Newsome bombed a 69-yard punt in the second quarter, flipping the field from an Irish drive which stalled out at their own 14-yard line, pushing the Wolfpack back to their own 17. It was just shy of Newsome's 71-yard career long against Michigan State earlier this year. It was the 31st career punt of at least 50-yards for the junior.
Each team benefited from some strong plays from their special teams, followed by devastating plays from the same unit. NC State earned the first positive from its special teams, as the Wolfpack took a 3-0 lead on a field goal from Kyle Bambard at the end of the first quarter.
The Irish special teams then stepped forward in the third quarter, taking advantage of a bad snap from NC State to provide field position for a 40-yard field goal from Justin Yoon at 11:04. Notre Dame's defense also held NC State on a first down and goal-to-go situation that ended on a muffed snap on a field goal attempt by the Wolfpack.
In the end, however, NC State ended with the best play from its special teams, earning the victory on the blocked punt returned for a touchdown.
SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME:
This can explain the elements both teams played in today perfectly.
This is the current radar for Notre Dame-NC State, btw pic.twitter.com/fwhkMmxntp
-- Ryan Fagan (@ryanfagan) October 8, 2016