It goes in the books as Jaylen Samuels’ second career pass completion, in as many attempts, but Samuels’ halfback pass to tight end Dylan Parham in last week’s win over Florida State is one Samuels would like back.
“That was terrible,” Samuels said.
Offensive coordinator Eli Drinkwitz, who dialed up the play on N.C. State’s second drive of the game, was a little bit harsher in his assessment.
“That was the worst throw I’ve ever seen,” Drinkwitz said.
On first down from N.C. State’s 24-yard line, Samuels, lined up in the “I” behind quarterback Ryan Finley, took the handoff and then pulled up after about two yards. Parham, who was line up in the “H” spot, leaked down the right sideline while FSU’s defense focused on Samuels.
Unlike Samuels’ 59-yard touchdown pass to receiver Stephen Louis at North Carolina last year, Samuels did give Parham a chance to catch the ball and run for a score. Samuels threw the ball almost like a shot put and put a lot of air under it.
Parham, who is a converted quarterback, was alone at the N.C. State 45-yard line and was able to adjust to the throw. He reached back with two hands and caught the ball falling backwards.
“He was really acrobatic,” running back Nyheim Hines said of Parham’s first career catch.
Samuels, who leads the Wolfpack with 38 catches, was just glad that Parham bailed him out.
“I should have warmed up with Finley earlier in the game,” Samuels said. “I’m just glad he made a great catch.”
Parham’s acrobatics kept Samuels’ career completion percentage at 100 and he has a 310 passer rating for the season.
Samuels did make up for the poor throw with his usual production. He ran for a touchdown in the first quarter, a tough 1-yarder on fourth down, and had a 14-yard touchdown catch to clinch the game in the fourth quarter. Samuels finished with 12 catches for 64 yards and he ran five times for 11 yards.
His production, by game, for the season:
He took a season-high 17 snaps at running back and for the second straight game took a snap at quarterback. The official “JaySam Pitch Count:”
Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio