Hurricane Matthew made its way through Raleigh this afternoon; at the same time, football was played, kind of. And people showed up in droves.
Notre Dame and the Wolfpack competed in one of the worst games of the season Saturday. The two teams sloshed around in the mud and pooling water for 60 minutes, with N.C. State coming away with the 10-3 victory. Aside from the folks at the ACC offices, who decided this is footbaw and rain ain’t no thing, the people who further emboldened the league and the two teams to play were the 58,200 (!) fans who paid money for tickets, checked the weather, and still decided to show up watch a game. Those numbers may need to be taken with a grain of salt, but still, Wolfpack fans were clearly determined to see the Fighting Irish.
These people paid money to watch this first half:
And then stuck around to watch this shit:
Going off just the box score, it was, one could say, a defensive battle; when the last second mercifully ticked off the clock, the only touchdown recorded in the contest was a gift to the Wolfpack from Matthew—Notre Dame punter Tyler Newsome was slow on the draw, had the punt blocked by N.C. State’s Pharoah McKeve, allowing Dexter Wright to return the ball 16 yards for the score.
That—a blocked punt off a poorly handled snap in a hurricane—was as good as the action got all day. The surrounding action consisted of 10 fumbles, 10 unreturned punts, a combined 3-for-29 third down conversion rate, and 113 total yards of offense for Notre Dame (N.C. State had a better day on the ground, cranking out 157 rushing yards, though the success failed to yield any trips to the end zone.)
Naturally, snaps were an issue all afternoon, though pretty much any action that you’d want to see in a game was negatively altered by the weather.
The only time an offense managed to put together an actual drive, N.C. State took 16 plays to go 51 yards, only to have a simple pitch play from the Fighting Irish 2-yard line end up becoming a 16-yard loss.
The Ryan Finley fumble and recovery was followed by this:
In fitting fashion, the game ended with Notre Dame making one last drive to tie the game, only to have a poor snap on fourth down shoot past DeShone Kizer and result in a victory-clinching sack for N.C. State.
Ultimately, it will go down as a terrible game made memorable by the weather. If there’s any good to come out of the competitive Slip N’ Slide, it’s the fact Notre Dame is now 2-4 and the strong, very good, and handsome Wolfpack men are 4-1.