NC State falls 51-28 to Mississippi State in Belk Bowl

North Carolina State's Jaylen Samuels runs for a touchdown against Mississippi State. (Nell Redmond)


Mississippi State washed away N.C. State 51-28 at the Belk Bowl on Wednesday behind four Dak Prescott touchdown passes and a bowl record 380 yards passing.

Playing in soggy conditions, an ominous start proved prophetic for the Wolfpack. Starting his last collegiate game at quarterback, Jacoby Brissett threw an interception on the game's first snap. Mississippi State quickly turned that into points and the Bulldogs never looked back.

Two possessions later Brissett threw his second pick of the day; only the third time in his collegiate career he would be picked off twice in a single game. Eighteen seconds after that, the Bulldogs were celebrating another Prescott touchdown toss. De'Runnya Wilson had 75 receiving yards and a touchdown in the first quarter.

Looking dead in the water (which was coming down in buckets) N.C. State found some momentum with Pharoah McKeever, a converted defensive end. McKeever outraced the secondary for an 82-yard touchdown reception, the second longest in Belk Bowl history.



After a Niles Clark interception, N.C. State converted a fourth-and-one with a 48-yard run by Jaylen Samuels. Suddenly the Bulldogs' lead was back to seven. Mississippi State responded by scoring the last 10 points of the half for a comfortable 31-14 lead.

The Pack looked like it caught another break when the Bulldogs fumbled a punt. Unfortunately kick-catch interference was called and instead of N.C. State's ball near the endzone, MSU retained possession and eventually score to put the game nearly out of reach. N.C. State's season ends at 7-6.

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