N.C. State took a step up in competition and got knocked down for the first time this season.
Louisville took advantage of N.C. State’s mistakes and got a big rushing game from quarterback Lamar Jackson for a 20-13 ACC win on a soggy Saturday afternoon at Carter-Finley Stadium.
N.C. State (4-1) feasted on two Sun Belt foes, a Division I-AA team and Old Dominion to storm out of the gates with a 4-0 record. But in the first conference test, the Wolfpack couldn’t get its running game going nor could it contain Jackson.
Jackson ran for 121 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown, to give the Cardinals (2-3) their first win of the season over Division I-A team.
N.C. State came into the game averaging 259 rushing yards per game but only managed 45 against Louisville’s strong defensive front.
Quarterback Jacoby Brissett threw for 183 yards and a 21-yard touchdown but a pair of N.C. State fumbles led to 10 Louisville points.
N.C. State running back Matt Dayes, who had rushed for at least 100 yards in the first four games, finished with 68 yards and one touchdown.
N.C. State receiver Jumichael Ramos was on his way to the end zone when he was caught from behind by Louisville corner Trumaine Washington at the 5-yard line. Washington punched the ball loose and jumped on the fumble.
Six plays later, Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson busted a 68-yard option keep for a touchdown and 7-0 lead..
Three who mattered
Lamar Jackson: In his first start on the road, the freshman quarterback ran for 121 yards and threw for another for Louisville.
John Wallace: The Louisville senior kicker made field goals of 36 and 26 yards plus made both extra point kicks. N.C. State freshman Kyle Bambard missed a PAT in the third quarter.
Jaylen Samuels: The N.C. State sophomore caught five passes for 75 yards and caught a 21-yard touchdown pass.
Three key numbers
7 N.C. State’s rushing yards in the first half
50 N.C. State’s penalty yards in the first half
2 N.C. State’s turnovers, double their season total
Freshman Nyheim Hines returned a kickoff 90 yards to set up N.C. State’s first touchdown. Hines had a long return wiped out last week at South Alabama.
Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio