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Sunday May 3rd, 2015 4:55AM

NC State edges Georgia Southern 24-23

By The Associated Press
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Jacoby Brissett threw for 291 yards and three second-half touchdowns to help North Carolina State beat Georgia Southern 24-23 on Saturday in the season opener for both teams.<br /> <br /> Brissett connected with Matt Dayes on a 35-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline for the go-ahead score with 1:37 left.<br /> <br /> Georgia Southern had one last chance, but Kevin Ellison's fourth-down pass from his own 28 fell incomplete with 1:02 left.<br /> <br /> Bra'Lon Cherry caught two touchdown passes for N.C. State, which trailed 17-3 at halftime and 20-10 in the fourth quarter.<br /> <br /> Ellison passed for 184 yards and rushed for 116 more to lead the Eagles. Matt Breida had a 61-yard touchdown run for Georgia Southern.<br /> <br /> It was the first game as a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision for the Eagles, who won six national championships in the Football Championship Subdivision before joining the Sun Belt Conference.<br /> <br /> N.C. State, which lost its final eight games of the 2013 season, was in big trouble for much of the game.<br /> <br /> Ahead 20-10, the Eagles stopped N.C. State's Shadrach Thornton for no gain on fourth and 1 from the Georgia Southern 9 on the first play of the fourth quarter. They took the ball and were driving when N.C. State came up with a momentum-changing turnover.<br /> <br /> On second and goal from the 1, Ellison never got the ball on the center-quarterback exchange. N.C. State's Monty Nelson recovered the fumble.<br /> <br /> The Wolfpack marched 99 yards on 12 plays, with Brissett finding Cherry for a 13-yard touchdown to cut Georgia Southern's lead to 20-17 with 6:55 remaining.<br /> <br /> The Eagles moved back down the field thanks to a 52-yard run by Ellison, but they settled for a 31-yard field goal by Alex Hanks to take a 23-17 lead with 3:35 to play.
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