#24 NC State Tops Arizona State in 84th Hyundai Sun Bowl

El Paso, TX - There was plenty of scoring to go around during the 84th playing of the Hyundai Sun Bowl as 24th-ranked North Carolina State racked up 52 points to defeat a game Arizona State team, 52-31, in front of 39,897 fans on Friday afternoon. The Wolfpack's 52 points is the second-most scored by a team in the Sun Bowl's prestigious history, trailing only the 56 scored by Oregon in 2007.  The 83 combined points is also second-most in Sun Bowl history.  UCLA and Northwestern combined to score 88 points in 2006. "I just want to say how thankful I am to the players and the coaches for a top-25 finish and a nine-win season and to our seniors for our third bowl win in four attempts.  So that's a great finish and that's what we talked about this whole bowl prep and I'm just so proud of those guys," said NC State head coach Dave Doeren. "A lot of seniors don't focus the way these guys do. You know, their minds are in other places and that just says a lot about the character of these young men and I'm very proud of them and thankful to them."

The two teams also combined for 42 fourth-quarter points, the most points scored in any Sun Bowl quarter.  The 42 points were also part of 45 scored in the second-half, tying another record.  NC State (9-4) amassed a Sun Bowl record six rushing touchdowns, the first three by Nyheim Hines, all in the first half.  It was his first-ever game with three rushing touchdowns.  For his efforts the junior running back was named the C.M. Hendricks Most Valuable Player. Quarterback Ryan Finley led the Wolfpack through the air after throwing for 18 yards and a touchdown on 24-of-29 passing with no interceptions.  Wideout Stephen Louis had three catches for 115 yards and a Sun Bowl record 38.3 yards per catch.

"i'm just going to enjoy this win, what a way to go out for our seniors," Finley said. "I'm just really going to enjoy it." ASU (7-6) was led by quarterback Manny Wilkins, Jr. who passed for 352 yards and three touchdowns on 25-of-40 passing.  N'Keal Harry had nine catches for 142 receiving yards and former Sun Bowl MVP Demario Richard ran for a total of 50 yards. Unfortunately for the Sun Devils, Wilkins also threw three interceptions.  ASU had a total of four turnovers that contributed to its loss, the first coming early in the game. On the second play of the game ASU sophomore Kyle Williams received a pass but then proceeded to fumble the ball while trying to gain extra yards.  The ball was recovered by Wolfpack safety Jarius Morehead right at midfield. Three plays later Finley hit receiver Louis for a 50-yard strike that placed the ball at the Sun Devil 2-yard line.  But NC State was not able to punch it in and ended up with zero points after a fake field-goal attempt was unsuccessful.It would be the only possession of the first half, however, that the Wolfpack would not end up with a touchdown as they scored four consecutive touchdowns the rest of the first half.  The first three scores would come on 5-yard runs by
Hines.

The Sun Devils, meanwhile, lose at the Sun Bowl for the first time since 1941.  ASU had won its last three Sun Bowl appearances (1997, 2004, 2014).


Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Latest News