Saturday, September 13, 2014

First Half Dominance Leads to 49-17 Win at USF

Both the NC State offense and defense came out and dominated first half action, as the Pack cruised past USF for a 49-17 road win at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Wolfpack raced to a 35-7 halftime lead, and finished with 589 yards of total offense including 315 on the ground (most since 1994).

7 plays, 88 yard TD drive to open the game.

Hard to play favorites when NC State had five first half TD drives, but the Pack's opening series march down the field set the tone for the game. After holding USF to 17 yards on their opening drive, the Wolfpack took the ensuing punt and went 88 yards in seven plays over 2:50 to get on the scoreboard first for the first time this season.

Bra'Lon Cherry capped the drive with his first of three TDs on the day, as he took the read-option handoff for a 17 yards rushing score. On the opening series, the balanced offensive attach put up both 49 yards rushing and 49 yards passing. Tony Creecy had three rushes for 32 yards, while Jacoby Brissett was 2-of-3 for 49 yards, including a 42 catch and run by Bo Hines.

• WR Bra'Lon Cherry: 3 catches for 50 yards and 1 TD - 2 rushes for 20 yards and 2 TDs

The first three times he touched the ball on offense, sophomore Bra'Lon Cherry found himself in the Pack's end zone. On the opening drive, Cherry rushed for a 17-yard TD, the next drive was finished with a 17-yard TD reception, and the third drive was another Cherry rushing TD. In the season opener, he caught two TD passes in the win over Georgia Southern.

Honorable Mentions
- NC State's 1st half defense - Held USF to just 94 yards, only two coming after the first two drives.
- QB Jacoby Brissett (20-of-29 for 266 yards and 2 Tds)
- NC State's offensive line - Pack rushing attach had 315 yards (most since 1994) and five scores on the ground.

• NC State has started the season 3-0 for the first time since the 2010 season (4-0).

• The Pack's 35 points in the first half were the most for an NC State team on the road since scoring 38 at Navy in 2002. The 49 points scored were the most in a road game since scoring 51 at Texas Tech in 2002.

• USF posted 92 yards of offense on their first two drives, including a 75-yard score. But on the Bull's final five drives of the first half the Pack defense held them to just two total yards.

• The Pack finished with five rushing scores on the day, the most in a road contest since having six at Texas Tech in 2002.

• QB Jacoby led nine Wolfpack drives before giving way to back-up Garrett Leatham in the middle of the third quarter - he later returned late in the fourth quarter. In those first nine drives of the game, the Pack scored seven TDs, punted once, and ran two plays before the end of the first half.

• The Pack's 312 yards rushing were the most for an NC State team since 1994 against Maryland (327).

• For the second straight game, NC State rushed for over 200 yards - the first time in back-to-back games since early in 2012. Today, the Pack rushed for 312 yards after posting 242 on the ground last week against ODU.

NC State returns to home action next weekend, as the Wolfpack will host Presbyterian Saturday at 6 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.

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