NCAAF Game Recap - East Carolina at North Carolina State
Sat Aug 31, 2019 12:00 PM EDT

GATec
14
Clem
52
F
Duke
3
Ala
42
F
UGA
30
Vand
6
F
Hou
31
Okla
49
F
FlAtl
21
OHSt
45
F
GaSo
3
LSU
55
F
MidTN
21
Mich
40
F
ND
35
Lou
17
F
LaTec
14
Tex
45
F
Oreg
21
Aub
27
F
TxSt
7
TxAM
41
F
EWa
14
Wash
47
F
Utah
30
BYU
12
F
Idaho
7
PSU
79
F
FlaAM
0
UCF
62
F
Tuls
7
MSU
28
F
Wisc
49
SoFL
0
F
MiaOH
14
Iowa
38
F
NoIa
26
IASt
29
F(2OT)
Syr
24
Lib
0
F
NMSt
7
WaSt
58
F
SoAl
21
Neb
35
F
NW
7
Stan
17
F
Alb
21
C Mi
38
F
UCLA
14
Cin
24
F
RMor
10
Buff
38
F
Wagn
21
UConn
24
F
Mor
3
BGSU
46
F
C Ark
35
W Ky
28
F
GWebb
28
Char
49
F
AlaSt
19
UAB
24
F
FLInt
14
Tul
42
F
SDSU
21
Minn
28
F
NoCol
18
SJSU
35
F
Kent
7
AzSt
30
F
Rice
7
Army
14
F
UMass
21
Rut
48
F
UtSt
35
Wake
38
F
Purd
31
Nev
34
F
ColSt
31
Colo
52
F
OkSt
52
OreSt
36
F
Miss
10
Mem
15
F
MisSt
38
ULLaf
28
F
InSt
17
Kans
24
F
Akr
3
Ill
42
F
ECU
6
NCSt
34
F
How
0
MD
79
F
Toled
24
KY
38
F
Ind
34
Ball
24
F
Boise
36
FlaSt
31
F
JMU
13
WVU
20
F
URI
20
Ohio
41
F
Buck
12
Temp
56
F
HolyC
7
Navy
45
F
Colg
7
AF
48
F
GASt
38
Tenn
30
F
SCar
20
UNC
24
F
E Mi
30
CoCar
23
F
ETenn
7
App
42
F
MonSt
10
TxTch
45
F
PorSt
13
Ark
20
F
VaTec
28
BC
35
F
SamHu
31
NM
39
F
(N/A)
7
UTSA
35
F
Camp
14
Troy
43
F
UCDav
13
Cal
27
F
VMI
17
Marsh
56
F
IllSt
10
NIU
24
F
Monm
13
WestMI
48
F
AlcSt
10
SMiss
38
F
Nich
14
K St
49
F
SFA
17
Bayl
56
F
SMU
37
ArkSt
30
F
Norf
21
OD
24
F
Mizzu
31
Wyo
37
F
Abil
31
NorTx
51
F
UVA
30
Pitt
14
F
Gram
9
ULMon
31
F
HBU
34
UTEP
36
F
ArkPB
7
TCU
39
F
Web
0
SDSU
6
F
SoUt
23
UNLV
56
F
Fres
23
USC
31
F

Aug 31, 2019, 12:00 PM EDT

Final

1

2

3

4

T

East Carolina (0-1)

3

0

0

3

6

North Carolina State (1-0)

7

10

7

10

34

McKay, stout defense lead NC State past East Carolina 34-6
Sat Aug 31, 2019 5:14 PM

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Matthew McKay never looked overwhelmed as he made his first start for North Carolina State at quarterback.

The redshirt sophomore ran for two touchdowns and threw for another while N.C. State overcame a shaky start to shut down East Carolina's ground game to beat the Pirates 34-6 in Saturday's season opener for both teams.

McKay completed 25 of 37 passes for 308 yards, becoming only the third quarterback in school history and first in a dozen years to crack the 300-yard mark in his first career start.

"The first play I went out there, I took a deep breath and said, `OK we're playing football,"' McKay said, "So not nervous or anything, just definitely prepared for my moment."

He looked that way, too.

McKay scored on a 4-yard keeper just before halftime for a 17-3 lead, then got loose around the left side and dove for the pylon for a 21-yard score early in the fourth.

McKay also found a wide-open Tabari Hines on the right side for a 48-yard touchdown in the third as the Wolfpack broke the game open.

"Just very confident, very calm," Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren said. "Put his time in, studied, prepared. Like I tell the players: if you're prepared, you won't be nervous. And he prepared the right way for this football game."

Holton Ahlers threw for 168 yards for the Pirates in their first game under new coach Mike Houston. But a promising game-opening drive ended when Ahlers fumbled inside the Wolfpack 5-yard line, and ECU never got near the end zone again until late with the outcome long decided.

"They don't give any ribbons for coming close," Houston said of the fumble. "That was a big play in the ballgame because that completely changed the outlook in the first half."

THE TAKEAWAY

ECU: East Carolina closed last season with a 58-3 loss on the same field, a disastrous afternoon that had the Pirates kicking a last-second field goal to avoid their first shutout in more than two decades. The second trip went only marginally better. ECU got nothing going on the ground, running 29 times for 41 yards (1.4-yard average) and leaving the mobile Ahlers to carry the offense almost entirely on his own. There was also a penalty that wiped out Tyler Snead's 93-yard kickoff return immediately following Hines' long TD.

"It gives us the best evaluation we've had so far of where we are," Houston said. "This is not where we want to be, and this is not where we will be."

N.C. State: It was a good start for Doeren's seventh year, which has the Wolfpack entering with more youth than in recent seasons. A balanced ground game produced 191 yards of the Wolfpack's 505 total yards, which included true freshman Zonovan Knight scoring from 9 yards out on his first college carry. And after that opening drive, the Wolfpack's defense settled in and controlled the line of scrimmage with plenty of three-man fronts that closed down every running lane.

THE BIG PLAY

ECU looked sharp on the first drive, with Ahlers completing his first seven passes and the Pirates pushing to the Wolfpack's 9-yard line. But as the 235-pound Ahlers headed for the goal line on a first-down run, sophomore Tanner Ingle knocked the ball loose with a hard hit and fellow safety Jarius Morehead recovered it in the end zone.

"That was a very long drive so I was very thankful we got off the field and they didn't score," Wolfpack defensive lineman James Smith-Williams said. "So I definitely thanked (Morehead)."

MORE ON MCKAY

Before Saturday, the only Wolfpack players to throw for 300 yards in their first career start were Harrison Beck (321 yards) in 2007 and longtime NFL quarterback Philip Rivers (397) in 2000.

"As practice went on throughout the week, you could see him (becoming) more and more confident," Doeren said. "Thursday he had his best practice that I've seen him have since he's been here.

"I said to the guys: `Man, if he throws it like that, we're good Saturday because he's throwing dimes."'

DOMINANT

Going back to the December meeting, N.C. State outscored ECU by 83 points (92-9), outgained the Pirates by 787 yards (1,160-373) and posted 11 touchdowns to ECU's zero over the two games.

UP NEXT

ECU: The Pirates host Gardner-Webb in their first home game under Houston next Saturday.

N.C. State: Western Carolina visits the Wolfpack next Saturday.

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More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball , http://www.twitter.com/AP-Top25 and https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ap-top-25-college-football-podcast/id1138957862?mt=2

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Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

Passing

ECU Att Cmp % TD-Pa Yds-Pa LgPa Int Rat
H. Ahlers 39 22 56.4 0 168 20 1 56.4
R. Herring 6 4 66.7 0 60 37 0 99.3
NCSt Att Cmp % TD-Pa Yds-Pa LgPa Int Rat
M. McKay 37 25 67.6 1 308 48 0 102.1
B. Hockman 2 1 50.0 0 6 6 0 56.3

Rushing

ECU Att Yds-Ru Avg LgRu TD-Ru
D. Pinnix Jr. 11 23 2.1 9 0
H. Ahlers 10 11 1.1 12 0
NCSt Att Yds-Ru Avg LgRu TD-Ru
Z. Knight 9 42 4.7 13 1
J. Houston 6 35 5.8 22 0

Receiving

ECU Rec Yds-Rc Avg LgRc TD-Rc
B. Proehl 5 45 9.0 12 0
A. Omotosho 1 37 37.0 37 0
NCSt Rec Yds-Rc Avg LgRc TD-Rc
T. Thomas 6 83 13.8 19 0
T. Hines 4 74 18.5 48 1

Fumbles

ECU F FL
H. Ahlers 1 1
T. Snead 1 0
NCSt F FL
T. Thomas 1 0

Returning

ECU KR Avg KRTD LgKR PR Avg TD LgPR
T. Snead 3 24.0 0 36 1 12.0 0 12
NCSt KR Avg KRTD LgKR PR Avg TD LgPR
T. Thomas 0 - 0 0 3 8.7 0 16

Punting

ECU Punt Yds Avg LgPu
J. Young 7 343 49.0 58
NCSt Punt Yds Avg LgPu
T. Gill 5 208 41.6 53

Takeaways

NCSt Int Yds InTD
C. Ingram 1 0 0

Team Stats Comparison

ECU NCSt
Points For 6 34
Total Yards 269 505
Rushing Yards 41 191
Passing Yards 228 314
Passing Completions / Attempts 26/45 26/39
Turnovers 2 0
Interceptions Thrown 1 0
Fumbles - Lost 2/1 2/0
First Downs 18 23
Penalties - Yards 5/53 6/55
Time Of Possession 22:22 38:38
Third Down Conversions/Attempts 5/15 4/12
Fourth Down Conversions/Attempts 0/0 0/1
Punts - Average Yards 7/49 5/42

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter ECU NCSt
NCSt 6:26 TD Zonovan Knight 9 yd run (Christopher Dunn kick) 0 7
ECU 8:56 FG Jake Verity 47 yd FG 3 7
2nd Quarter ECU NCSt
NCSt 4:59 FG Christopher Dunn 27 yd FG 3 10
NCSt 14:09 TD Matthew McKay 4 yd run (Christopher Dunn kick) 3 17
3rd Quarter ECU NCSt
NCSt 5:12 TD Tabari Hines 48 yd pass from Matthew McKay (Christopher Dunn kick) 3 24
4th Quarter ECU NCSt
NCSt 2:39 TD Matthew McKay 21 yd run (Christopher Dunn kick) 3 31
NCSt 10:46 FG Christopher Dunn 34 yd FG 3 34
ECU 13:42 FG Jake Verity 31 yd FG 6 34

Game Information

Stadium: Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, North Carolina
Attendance: 57,633
Game Time:
Weather: