West Virginia quarterback Austin Kendall threw three touchdown passes and the Mountaineers used an impressive second half to defeat visiting North Carolina State 44-27 on Saturday afternoon at Morgantown, W.Va.
West Virginia drove for a go-ahead field goal on the first possession of the second half and then converted for a touchdown shortly after a blocked punt set up the Mountaineers at the Wolfpack 12.
Kendall ended up 27 of 40 for 272 yards with one interception. His 9-yard touchdown strike to diving Ali Jennings in the fourth quarter boosted West Virginia (2-1) to a 38-27 lead.
Leddie Brown added a 3-yard touchdown run with 3:04 to play.
West Virginia’s Sam James caught nine passes for 155 yards.
N.C. State quarterback Matthew McKay was 23 of 48 for 207 yards and one touchdown. Wide receiver Thayer Thomas caught a touchdown pass and threw for a touchdown.
Thomas’ younger brother, freshman linebacker Drake Thomas, intercepted a third-quarter pass, but N.C. State (2-1) converted for only a 37-yard field goal from Christopher Dunn to close within 31-27.
In the first half, on a double-pass play, Thayer Thomas threw a tie-breaking 18-yard touchdown pass to tight end Cary Angeline with 3:13 to play in the second quarter.
Kendall threw to George Campbell for a 13-yard touchdown play with 34 seconds left in the half, which ended in a 21-21 tie.
Kendall threw 20 yards to James for a West Virginia touchdown to open the scoring. That was the first touchdown allowed by the Wolfpack this season.
N.C. State pulled even in the first quarter when McKay threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Thayer Thomas.
Less than a minute later, the Mountaineers were back on top on Kennedy McKoy’s 23-yard run. N.C. State countered on Jordan Hudson’s 1-yard run.
The teams were supposed to meet last year at N.C. State, but the threat of a hurricane caused that game to be wiped off the schedule. So the most-recent meeting came in the 2010 Sports Champs Bowl, which was won by N.C. State.
—Field Level Media