What an exciting week of college football for our hometown teams. There were two high-tension in-state matchups this week, with the first one being N.C. State vs. UNC. The second of the duo was Wake Forest versus Duke. Appalachian State played last week as well, at home against the opposing Troy University Trojans.
The UNC game was full of craziness. UNC quarterback Cade Fortin was not that impressive. He went 19/40 for 276 yards and a touchdown, along with a pick, though his receivers dropped four passes as well. Fortin was able to run the ball in for a rushing touchdown, however, which helped his case. Starting running back Javonte Williams had 16 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown.
Looking at State’s stats, quarterback Ryan Finley was 16/28 for 200 yards and an interception and no touchdowns. The Wolfpack leaned more heavily on impressive starting running back Reggie Gallaspy II, who had a whopping 27 carries for 129 yards and 5 touchdowns, one of those touchdowns being the game-winner from the one-yard line in overtime. State ended up squeaking out the victory 34-28. State’s record is now 8-3, while UNC’s is 2-9.
Shortly after State stole the victory, a fight broke out between both teams. Emotions of frustration overflowed from the Tar Heel defense. Punches were thrown from both teams. The fight ended just as quickly as it started. It ultimately changed nothing; it just showcased the immaturity of whoever started it, which is unknown because the pile was so large.
Looking at the second in-state matchup, Duke versus Wake Forest, all we see is an absolute blowout. Demon Deacon quarterback Jamie Newman was very impressive in this game, going 18/23 for 177 yards and 4 touchdowns. He threw to four different receivers, however, the one he favored most was Greg Dortch, who had 10 receptions for 124 yards and a touchdown. Wake’s rushing was impressive as well, with starter Cade Carney getting 31 carries for 223 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Although Duke boasts a quality future draft pick in quarterback Daniel Jones, he was unable to do much against Wake’s stout defense. He went 17/36 for 145 yards, one touchdown and one pick. Wake Forest ultimately won by a decisive score of 59-7. Duke’s overall record is now 7-5, while the Demon Deacons have a 6-6 record.
App State took on conference rival Troy last Saturday. The Mountaineers ran a very balanced offense in this game. Quarterback Zac Thomas threw 12/24 for 113 yards and 2 touchdowns. For the rushing game, they spread the carries out among three main backs, those being Darrynton Evans, Marcus Williams Jr, and Thomas. Evans had 20 carries for 108 yards, Williams Jr had 11 carries for 58 yards, and Thomas, who had 33 yards and the only rushing touchdown. App receiver Corey Xavier Sutton had a monster game against Troy’s secondary, notching 5 receptions for 72 yards and two touchdowns.
App’s defense also showed up in this game against the Trojans. The defenders forced two fumbles on the day, which put the offense in good position to score touchdowns, which they did on both occasions. They also picked off Troy twice.
Troy was only able to put up ten points in this game against the ‘Neers. Their quarterback, Sawyer Smith, went 17/34 for 160 yards and one touchdown, which got overshadowed by the two picks that App State was able to snatch. Receiver Deondre Douglas caught the only touchdown in the game. Ultimately, ASU was able to win the game by a margin of 21-10, which won them the Sun Belt East division title. They will host the Sun Belt Championship Game this week. The Mountaineers boast an impressive 9-2 record, while Troy falls to 9-3, respectively.
Rivalry Week never disappoints. We saw an overtime victory, a blowout, and an excellently-executed game. With bowl season quickly approaching, it will certainly be entertaining to watch these teams, among others, fight for their victories.