No. 20 NC State pulls away from Pitt

Wolfpack heads into its bye week at 6-1

NC State's Jaylen Samuels reacts after a touchdown against the Pittsburgh on Saturday at Heinz Field. The Wolfpack won 35-17. (Charles LeClaire / USA TODAY Sports)

PITTSBURGH — Nyheim Hines and Jaylen Samuels each scored twice as NC State overcame a slow start to beat Pittsburgh 35-17 at Heinz Field on Saturday.

The No. 20 Wolfpack (6-1, 4-0 ACC) failed to score on the opening drive of the game for just the second time this season and went into halftime tied at 14 with the Panthers (2-5, 0-3 ACC).

Hines kept NC State in the game with two long first-half scores. After the Panthers started the scoring on a 33-yard pass from Ben DiNucci to receiver Jester Weah, Hines broke free two plays later for an 83-yard touchdown run to tie the game.

After a Wolfpack defensive stop, Hines returned a Ryan Winslow punt 92 yards to give NC State the lead. Hines finished with 135 yards on 16 carries and had 249 all-purpose yards.

Samuels, himself an all-purpose offensive weapon, added on in the fourth quarter with two touchdown runs, the second of which went 40 yards to ice the game. Samuels rushed for 62 yards on six carries. He also caught four passes for 28 yards.

Pitt responded to Hines’ second touchdown with a long scoring drive that ended in a 1-yard touchdown by running back Darrin Hall. To set up the score, Pitt ran a 10-yard lateral to left tackle Brian O’Neill.

Late in the third quarter, quarterback Ryan Finley connected with Jakobi Meyers on a 3-yard touchdown pass to give the Wolfpack the lead for good. Finley had a quiet day but finished 14 of 25 for 198 yards and the score.

Pitt replaced DiNucci with true freshman Kenny Pickett in the fourth quarter. DiNucci finished 19 of 32 for 170 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Pickett went 5 of 13 for 61 yards.

NOTES: NC State star DE Bradley Chubb left the game with a finger injury in the third quarter but later returned. Chubb had two tackles and two quarterback hurries. … Hines’ first-quarter punt return was the longest by an NC State player since 1926. … Pitt FS Damar Hamlin made his first career start. He finished with a team-high eight tackles. … WR Jester Weah led all Pitt players with 106 receiving yards and seven catches.