Pack Prevail as Smith Slips
Champs Sports Bowl and all who watched were expecting a better show than what they got tonight.
Orlando was full of fans supporting West Virginia and North Carolina State. With a 23-7 victory, the Wolfpack Nation went home happy and the Mountaineer fans are just wishing their team would have put up a fight. Sports fans, however, just wished they could have actually seen something worth watching. The game as a whole was a joke. The first quarter had 7 points posted by the pack with 1:37 left. The second wasn’t much better. Granted, West Virginia did score but it took them nearly 13 minutes into the quarter to get there and then with only 26 seconds left in the half State put up 3 more points on a 45 yard field goal by Josh Czajkowski.
The second half was all Wolfpack. 9 minutes in they added another Czajkowski field goal, this time from 38 yards out to go up by 6. At the 1:50 mark, State put up a 40 yarder and took the lead to 16-7. The final installment of this dragging game went no faster than the previous 3 quarters. The fourth quarter was something like this:
NC State starts the quarter with the ball and punts after 1:46,
WVU starts at their own 8. Noel Devine runs for 28 yards on 1st down and fumbles (recovered by State),
NC State goes 34 yards on 4 plays before Czajkowski misses a 27 yard field goal,
WVU has 5 plays for 41 yards before Geno Smith is intercepted on State’s 10 by Brandan Bishop (Fantastic Catch!),
NC State takes 56 seconds off the clock before punting the ball,
WVU gets 20 yards on 7 plays and takes a whole minute and a half off the clock before Tyler Bitancurt misses a 42 yard field goal,
NC State takes over and is forced to a 4-and-out,
WVU punt returner calls for a fair catch and fumbles at his own 7 yard line (State recovers),
Russell Wilson throws his 2nd TD pass of the game to Jarvis Williams for 7 more yards to pad the stats a bit,
WVU goes 7 plays for 36 yards before Geno Smith is sacked and he fumbles the ball (recovered by the Pack),
NC State runs the ball on 3 consecutive plays and the game is over.
Tonight marks the first game this season that West Virginia has given up more than 21 points. To this point, they were the only team in the country to give up no more than 21 this season but that can no longer be said. West Virginia’s 5 turnovers, compared to State’s 1, didn’t really help them much. QB Geno Smith accounted for 3 of the 5 turnovers himself. He had a fumbled handoff, the fourth quarter interception, and a late fumble of his own. Time of possession didn’t swing their way either. Other than that, stat wise, it was actually a pretty even game (big eye roll). WVU had 19 first downs and 326 total yards (196 passing, 130 rushing). NC State came away with 21 first downs and 378 total yards (275 passing, 103 rushing). This ‘Bowl Season’ has been less than satisfactory so far and we haven’t really seen any good battles and tonight is just another prime example of that.
The only bright side from tonight: I picked up a win on my bowl sheet! Now, let’s see if I can keep this going with the Insight Bowl. Tonight, I’m a Hawkeye fan!