The last-second field goal was only the latest in a string of wild plays down the finish in both teams' ACC opener. Just seconds earlier Nerveson had a 48-yarder blocked by Virginia, but the Cavaliers were called for leaping over the center on the play.
The Cavs got a gutsy performance from Anthony Colandrea. Down 21-13 in the game's waning minutes, the freshman quarterback drove his team down the field and hit Malik Washington for a 3-yard touchdown to make it 21-19.
After an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty called on offensive lineman Ty Furnish moved the two-point conversion attempt back to the 18-yard line, Colandrea found Malachi Fields in the end zone to tie the game at 21-21 with 36 seconds to go.
After lifting his team off the mat to tie the game late, Colandrea then committed a critical error when he was called for unsportsmanlike conduct after the successful two-point try. That penalty moved Virginia's kickoff back and helped set up a 5-play, 33-yard Wolfpack drive to win the game.
The Wolfpack (3-1, 1-0 ACC) led 14-7 at the half and took an eight point lead into the fourth quarter. NC State quarterback Brennan Armstrong finished 18 of 30 for 184 yards and two touchdowns -- both to receiver Kevin Concepcion.
Virginia (0-4, 0-1 ACC) is off to an 0-4 start in head coach Tony Elliott's second season at the helm. The Cavaliers have suffered losses to Tennessee, James Madison, Maryland and now NC State to start the season. Virginia outgained NC State 384-319 but the Virginia couldn't pull off the comeback.