RALEIGH, N.C. - Jacoby Brissett threw for 291 yards and three second-half touchdowns to help North Carolina State edge Georgia Southern 24-23 on Saturday in the season opener for both teams, and the debut in FBS for the Eagles.
Brissett connected with Matt Dayes on a 35-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline for the go-ahead score with 1:37 left.
Georgia Southern had one last chance, but Kevin Ellison's fourth-down pass from his own 28 fell incomplete with 1:02 left.
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.
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. Georgia Southern faces Savannah State next Saturday at 6 p.m. in its home opener at the renovated Paulson Stadium.
Bra'Lon Cherry caught two touchdown passes for N.C. State, which trailed 17-3 at halftime and 20-10 in the fourth quarter.