RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina State's defense battered Syracuse quarterback Tommy DeVito for eight sacks, including one by Larrell Murchison in the final seconds to seal a 16-10 win Thursday night.
The Wolfpack (4-2, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) led all night and by as much as 16-0 in the third quarter before having to come up with a final stop to maintain its hold on the win.
DeVito connected with Trishton Jackson for a 2-yard touchdown with 3 minutes left for Syracuse (3-3, 0-2), then the Orange forced an immediate three-and-out to get the ball back with a chance to win.
But that drive only got a few yards past midfield before Murchison brought down DeVito on a third down. Syracuse had no timeouts as time dwindled then was called for a false start penalty with 2 seconds left, causing a clock runoff to end the game.
N.C. State's defensive showing bought plenty of cover for the Wolfpack's offense under quarterback Bailey Hockman, who came out a winner in his first start despite leading an offense that lacked any big-play potential.
N.C. State's only touchdown came on a double-pass, with receiver Thayer Thomas connecting downfield with Trent Pennix for a 32-yard score shortly before halftime. Hockman's first two drives ended in field goals from Christopher Dunn, who added another kick in the third quarter for the Wolfpack's 16-0 lead.
Syracuse: The Orange had at least regrouped from lopsided losses to Maryland and then-No. 1 Clemson with blowout wins against Western Michigan and Holy Cross, though they had been dealing with numerous injury concerns. That included DeVito, who left the last game early in the fourth with an upper-body injury - then took a beating in this one behind an offensive line that struggled to block anyone. DeVito gutted it out to give the Orange a chance late, though they managed just 41 yards rushing on 37 attempts (1.1 per carry).
N.C. State: The Wolfpack emerged from an open date with a new quarterback and plenty of practice reps to fix problems from the losses to West Virginia and Florida State. It was good enough on this night to win, though Hockman completed just 16 of 27 passes for 205 yards with an interception.
Syracuse: The Orange host Pittsburgh in a cross-divisional league game next Friday.
N.C. State: Boston College hosts the Wolfpack on Oct. 19.