Micale Cunningham threw for four touchdowns and Louisville used a big third quarter to gain momentum in a 34-20 victory against host North Carolina State on Saturday night at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, N.C.
Louisville (6-4, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) became bowl eligible in coach Scott Satterfield’s first season.
NC State (4-6, 1-5) lost its fourth game in a row. The Wolfpack must win at Georgia Tech and at home against rival North Carolina to secure bowl eligibility.
Cunningham completed 13 of 20 passes for 242 yards. Louisville freshman running back Javian Hawkins went over the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the season, picking up 67 yards on 16 carries.
NC State quarterback Devin Leary was 24-for-44 for 243 yards with two touchdown throws and an interception.
NC State led 10-7 at halftime, but the Cardinals didn’t waste time in gaining control.
On the third snap of the second half, Cunningham connected with Tutu Atwell for a 74-yard go-ahead touchdown play.
Less than a minute later — after an NC State turnover — Cunningham hooked up with Marshon Ford for a 42-yard touchdown on a two-play possession.
After those quick strikes, the Cardinals grinded out their third touchdown drive of the third quarter. They took 13 plays to go 64 yards, with Cunningham making a 1-yard pass to Ean Pfeifer.
It was 27-10 before NC State responded with Leary’s 16-yard pass play to Ricky Person Jr. in the opening minute of the fourth quarter.
Louisville kicker Ryan Chalifoux threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Ford on a fake field goal, pretty much clinching the outcome.
Atwell ended up with 110 receiving yards on five catches.
Cunningham’s first touchdown throw was a 43-yarder to Dez Fitzpatrick.
Leary threw 15 yards to Emeka Emezie for NC State’s first touchdown.
—Field Level Media