Ryan Finley, offense can't capitalize as NC State suffers another close loss

Ryan Finley, offense can't capitalize as NC State suffers another close loss

Ryan Finley, offense can't capitalize as NC State suffers another close loss

Deebo Samuel returned the opening kickoff 97 yards for a score and caught two touchdown passes from Jake Bentley as SC defeated North Carolina State 35-28 on Saturday in the season opener for both teams. Deebo Samuel took the opening kickoff back 97 yards for the score.

"I honestly don't believe - and he probably won't ever say it because he's a humble guy - but I don't think anyone in the country can guard him, Especially the way we've trained together". Ryan Finley's school-record 64th pass of the day was knocked away and landed with a thud in the end zone, along with most of N.C. State's hopes for a special season.

On fourth and goal with 15 seconds remaining, Ryan Finley scrambled out of the pocket, threw over the middle toward Kelvin Harmon and instead the ball hit off a SC defender's hand. Jaylen Samuels had 15 catches for 85 yards and a touchdown and Kelvin Harmon had 10 for 114 yards for the Wolfpack. Most notable on that front, his one-handed 39-yard scoring grab several minutes into the second quarter.

The Wolfpack had more than twice the total yards - 504 to 246 - held the ball for almost 14 minutes more, had 17 more first downs and won the turnover battle.

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Despite the Gamecocks being outgained 504 to 246, they were able to make plays and force turnovers when they needed to. "It's a skill set that we work on every single day. When I see the ball coming I knew I had to make a play".

So there's no hidden mystery about N.C. State, even if one prognosticator picked them to make the College Football Playoff (bless his heart). Bryson Allen-Williams hopped on the loose ball at the Wolfpack 13.

Samuel led the Gamecocks with 59 receptions and 783 yards, but scored only one receiving touchdown in 2016.

State cut the lead to 7 on a 1-yard TD catch by Samuels and had two chances to tie the game late in the fourth quarter.

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There isn't a better way to start the football season than what SC drew up.

"There is going to be film that doesn't lie and we are going to own it", Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren said. And we got a good football team.

After giving up 343 yards in the first half, the defense only gave up 46 in the third quarter and limited N.C. State to just 2.3 yards per play.

"Really proud of our football team", said Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp. It also did enough to itself to make sure it didn't, from giving up a touchdown on the opening kickoff to dropping interceptions to killing momentum with untimely penalties to missing field goals to letting SC quarterback Jake Bentley slip out of sacks to extend drives.

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