North Carolina State's Ashford taken off field on stretcher in opener at UConn

North Carolina State's Rakeim Ashford is carted off of the field after being injured in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game against UConn in East Hartford, Conn., Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — North Carolina State safety Rakeim Ashford was injured and taken off the field on a stretcher Thursday night during the third quarter of the Wolfpack's season opening win over UConn.

Ashford’s condition was not immediately known, but coach Dave Doeren said after the game that preliminary reports from medical personal were “positive.”

“They're going to keep him overnight to make sure, but every test they've done so far is OK,” he said.

The 6-foot-1 grad students was hit on the North Carolina State sideline at the end of a 40-yard kickoff return by NC State's Julian Gray with 1:54 left in the quarter. He went down and lay motionless for about 10 minutes as both teams knelt and watched emergency crews work on him.

A cart was brough onto the field, but not used. Ashford was eventually strapped to a stretcher and wheeled off the field.

UConn's Isiah Davis was called for unnecessary roughness on the play.

The Wolfpack went on to score a touchdown on the ensuing drive to take a 24-14 lead and won by that score.


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