East Hartford, Conn. — North Carolina State quarterback Brennan Armstrong threw for 155 yards and ran for 96 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Wolfpack to a 24-14 victory Thursday night over UConn in the season opener for both teams.
College football fans were treated to an exciting season opener between the North Carolina State Wolfpack and the UConn Huskies. In a game that showcased skill, determination, and a standout performance by Wolfpack quarterback Brennan Armstrong, NC State emerged victorious on the road.
UConn got the ball rolling early, with quarterback Joe Fagnano hitting on all three of his passes on a 12-play, 75-yard opening drive. Running back Victor Rosa capped off the drive with an 18-yard touchdown run over the right side of the offensive line.
Rosa ran for 99 yards and scored both of UConn’s touchdowns, including a 71-yard run that got the Huskies to within three points in the third quarter but couldn’t get their offense going in the second half.
“It was neck-and-neck and we were fighting hard and then we imploded a little bit there at the end of the third quarter,” UConn coach Jim Mora said.
The Huskies stumbled after that with just 50 yards of offense the rest of the half. The Wolfpack held the Huskies to 273 total yards.
Armstrong’s Dual-Threat Dominance:
The game was highlighted by the exceptional performance of North Carolina State’s graduate transfer quarterback, Brennan Armstrong. Armstrong, who joined the Wolfpack from Virginia, demonstrated his dual-threat abilities with remarkable finesse. He made a significant impact on both passing and rushing fronts.
Armstrong completed 17 of 26 passes for 155 yards, showcasing his precision and ability to connect with his receivers. His passes moved the chains effectively, allowing NC State to control the tempo of the game. Armstrong’s calm and collected demeanor in the pocket was a testament to his experience and leadership.
However, it was Armstrong’s prowess as a rusher that truly set him apart in this matchup. He carried the ball an impressive 19 times, accumulating 96 rushing yards. Armstrong’s mobility and vision allowed him to read UConn’s defense and exploit gaps in their line. His rushing game was especially evident in his two touchdown runs, one from 4 yards and the other from 8 yards out. These scores underscored his ability to perform under pressure and make critical plays when needed most.
NC State’s Balanced Attack:
While Armstrong’s performance was a defining factor in the victory, it’s important to note that the Wolfpack’s success was the result of a well-rounded offensive effort. NC State effectively mixed passing and rushing plays, keeping UConn’s defense guessing throughout the game.
The Wolfpack’s defense also played a pivotal role in securing the win. They applied consistent pressure on UConn’s quarterback, disrupted passing lanes, and limited the Huskies’ offensive options. This defensive effort ensured that the Wolfpack maintained control of the game from start to finish.
The Wolfpack finished with 209 yards rushing, after averaging 114 a year ago and failing to rush for 100 yards in their final three games of the season. Senior Jordan Houston had 57 yards on 13 carries.
Despite the loss, UConn displayed resilience and determination throughout the contest. They fought valiantly and had moments of brilliance on both sides of the ball. Their quarterback showed glimpses of potential, connecting on crucial passes and keeping the Huskies within striking distance.
The season opener between NC State and UConn was a thrilling showcase of college football talent. North Carolina State’s Brennan Armstrong, with his dual-threat abilities, was undoubtedly the star of the game, leading his team to the victory. Armstrong’s performance sets a promising tone for the Wolfpack’s season ahead.
As the college football season progresses, fans can look forward to witnessing more exciting matchups and standout performances. The game on August 31st served as a reminder of the passion and dedication that make college football a beloved sport, and it provided a glimpse into what promises to be a memorable season for both NC State and UConn.
“Having that extra runner as a quarterback kind of helps you as an offense, right,” Armstrong said. “I just felt like the game needed my feet and that’s just kind of what happened.”
UConn Joe Fagnano finished 14 of 26 for 113 yards and an interception, from linebacker Payton Wilson sealed the win with under a minute to go in the game.
North Carolina State: The Wolfpack host No. 13 Notre Dame on Sept. 9.
UConn: The Huskies play their first road game at Georgia State on Sept. 9.