Inside the game
N.C. State's players left Winston-Salem on Saturday night bemoaning the turnovers and penalties that helped Wake Forest defeat the Wolfpack 30-24.
But what should be disturbing for N.C. State is that Wake Forest committed as many turnovers (three) and was called for more penalties than the Wolfpack -- and still won.
Demon Deacons quarterback Riley Skinner passed for 361 yards and three touchdowns as N.C. State's coaching staff continues to look for solutions in its inexperienced, banged-up secondary.
DE Willie Young: After entering the game with four sacks on the season, Young tied a career high with three sacks. The first one caused a fumble that led to the game's first touchdown.
WR Owen Spencer: Returned from a concussion to catch four passes for 102 yards, including 41- and 45-yard receptions in the second half that set up N.C. State touchdowns. He was the first Wolfpack player to have 100 receiving yards in a game this season.
N.C. State committed eight penalties for 85 yards, including seven for 80 yards in the first half.
The most damaging fouls came on successive snaps against defensive tackles in the second quarter. Natanu Mageo was called for a personal foul for a late hit, and J.R. Sweezy was flagged for excessive celebration after sacking Riley Skinner on the next play.
That's 30 yards in penalties on a drive that ended in a field goal that gave Wake Forest the lead for good.
There's more trouble ahead for N.C. State's struggling defensive backs.
Duke visits Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday (4 p.m., ESPNU) with a senior quarterback, Thaddeus Lewis, who was a second-team All-ACC selection last season.
Lewis passed for 359 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions last week against a tough defense in a 34-26 loss to Virginia Tech, possibly signaling that the Blue Devils are improving just as they make the trip to Raleigh to meet a local rival.