The Wolfpacker

January-February 2024

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 27 of 51

28 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY NOAH FLEISCHMAN AND ETHAN MCDOWELL C State ended its regular season with a five-game winning streak and went into the Pop-Tarts Bowl on Dec. 28 with a chance to reach the double-digit vic- tory milestone for only the second time in program history. Following an October bye week, the Wolfpack defeated Clemson, Miami, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and North Carolina. It was an impressive late-sea- son surge that lifted NC State back into the Top 25, with the Pack sitting at No. 19 in the Associated Press poll prior to its bowl matchup against Kansas State. After dropping to 4-3 following to a 24-3 loss to Duke on Oct. 14, the Pack rallied around its leaders. Graduate line- backer Payton Wilson said the defense needed to play with more toughness, and the unit answered that call, allow- ing 15.4 points per game during the team's last five games. The offense, with both sophomore MJ Morris and graduate Brennan Arm- strong under center, continued to take steps forward and scored 28.8 points an outing over that same span of five contests. Here are some of the year's top per- formers and most memorable mo- ments. Offensive MVP Freshman wide receiver Kevin "KC" Concepcion made an electrifying debut, THE LATE THE LATE SHOW SHOW Unfazed By A Quarterback Switch, NC State Comes On Strong In The Season's Second Half N

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