Louisville WR Seth Dawkins trots against NC State in their last matchup in 2016. This year's game, Dawkins scored Louisville's first touchdown, tying the game in the second. Louisville ultimately lost the game, 39-25. Photo by Jared Anderson, River City Cards
late pick-six the difference in cards loss
It was one of the biggest games of the year. Thursday featured a top-25 matchup between No. 17 Louisville, visiting No. 24 NC State. The game was in front of a sold-out Carter-Finley Stadium, with the debut of new uniforms for NC State, and a blackout for the NCSU fans. It was a tough environment, and Louisville found themselves down by two scores in the second, and for most of the game. The Cards weren't able to stop the Wolfpack, and lost 39-25.
The first quarter was interesting. Neither team scored, but on each drive, with the exception of Louisville's first, each team was able to move the ball to the other side of the field. NC State's first drive was the Wolfpack's best scoring opportunity of the quarter. The Wolfpack had the ball third and goal at the 13-yard line, but NC State's QB, Ryan Finley fumbled the ball, and Louisville recovered it. Louisville also had the ball within kicker Blanton Creque's range, but Lamar Jackson was sacked to the 35-yard line, forcing a punt.
But in the second, Louisville trailed NC State. The Cards left NC State receiver Kelvin Harmon wide-open, and the Wolfpack scored easily.
But then, Seth Dawkins tied it up. The Louisville receiver bobbled the 23-yard pass, but secured it as he trotted into the endzone.
NC State responded with a touchdown, as Nyheim Hines rushed 11 yards through coverage for the score.
Louisville responded with a last-second field goal to bring the score to 17-10 at the end of the first half.
The third began like the first quarter. NC State had a good scoring opportunity, but missed a 35-yard field goal wide left. The Cards capitalized with a 48-yard Blanton Creque field goal. But then, the game was back-and forth.
NC State scored their next drive. A handoff again to Nyheim Hines went up the middle for the seven-yard score.
The fourth quarter kicked off with a rushing touchdown from Louisville QB Lamar Jackson. He couldn't find an open receiver, opting to roll to the outside and walk into the end-zone.
NC State responded with a passing touchdown and two-point conversion. With 10 minutes left in the quarter, NC State led 32-19.
With 4:10 left in the game, Jackson scored another rushing touchdown, rushing to the corner of the end zone from three-yards out. It would just be a six-point score, as the extra-point attempt was blocked. With 3:09 left, Louisville only trailed by seven.
Then, Jackson threw a pick-six to put this game out of reach. The Cards lost, 39-25.
Louisville moves to 4-2 with the loss. The Cards return home next Saturday, taking on Boston College at 12:20, for the homecoming game.