by Jacob Swiger
In a game that featured a little bit of everything including safeties, kickoff returns, interception returns and several big plays, Rutgers edged NC State 40-33 in a shootout that cooled off in the second half.
The teams combined to score 49 points in the first half alone, and NC State led 26-23 before Jamelle Eugene returned the opening kick of the second half for a touchdown, giving the Wolfpack a 10 point lead.
Kordell Young responded by carrying the Scarlet Knights to State's 25-yard line, setting up a 25-yard touchdown pass from Mike Teel, who finished with 272 passing yards and two touchdowns, to Tiquan Underwood. Underwood finished with 311 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns on the day due mostly to returning two first half kickoffs for touchdowns.
NC State went three-and-out on the following possession, and the Scarlet Knights drove to State's 11-yard line after a 35-yard pass to Young set them up for the tying field goal.
On the ensuing drive, Russell Wilson threw only his second interception of the season, and it proved costly as Ryan D'imperio returned the interception for a touchdown that gave Rutgers the winning score as the third quarter ended.
NC State ran the ball eight times straight with Eugene, who finished with 85 yards on the ground, in their lone possession of the fourth quarter, and Rutgers forced a 55-yard field goal by John Czajowksi that hit the crossbar and fell short with around three minutes to play.
Rutgers then ran out the clock after Young ran for three first downs.
The game started on a fast note as Teel completed a 64-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Britt on only the second play of the game.
Andre Brown then capped off an NC State drive with a 38-yard touchdown run that tied the game.
The electric Underwood returned his first kickoff for a score, and Rutgers' San San Te missed his first extra point of the season, giving Rutgers a 13-7 lead halfway through the first quarter.
Wilson answered with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Owen Spencer to give the Wolfpack the lead.
Rutgers drove nearly the length of the field before Teel threw his only interception of the afternoon, setting up for a 55-yard field goal by Czajkowski, and State led 17-13.
Underwood returned his second kick for a touchdown with under a minute remaining in the first quarter, edging State 20-13.
The teams cooled off in the second quarter, and both teams went three-and-out until Teel was sacked in the endzone.
The safety and a 13-yard touchdown pass to Spencer after the free kick gave NC State a 26-20 lead just before halftime.
Teel completed a 28-yard pass to Underwood with four seconds left, and Te kicked a 49-yard field goal to close the lead to three points.
NC State fell to 6-7 on the season after winning four straight, including victories over two ranked teams.
Rutgers finished a turbulent season at 8-5 despite losing their first three games. The Scarlet Knights won seven in a row to close out the season.