Sunday, September 7, 2014

Running Backs Find Endzone in 46-34 Win Over ODU

NC State's running backs found the endzone for five of the Pack's six touchdowns during the game, as NC State fought off Old Dominion 46-34 Saturday night at Carter-Finley Stadium. Shadrach Thornton rushed for three scores while Matt Dayes had both a rushing and receiving TD, and the Pack's rushing game netted 242 yards.

WOLFPACK DRIVE OF THE GAME - 1ST HALF
8 plays, 80 yard TD drive in the second quarter.

After Old Dominion missed a 27-yard field goal, the Pack took over at the 20-yard line and went 80 yards in 3:18 to score its second TD of the game. A Jacoby Brissett to Marquez Valdes-Scantling 42-yard pass down the Pack's sideline moved the ball down to the ODU 25, and five plays later Brissett found Matt Dayes out of the backfield for a seven-yard score just 32 seconds before halftime.

After Valdes-Scantling caught a fade for the two-point conversion, the Pack closed the gap to 21-18 right before halftime.

WOLFPACK DRIVE OF THE GAME - 2ND HALF
6 plays, 75 yard TD drive in the third quarter.

The Monarchs matched the Pack at the beginning of the third quarter, as both teams scored a TD on their first possession, with ODU's score giving them the lead at 28-25. The Pack responded on their next possession, going 75 yards in six plays, resulting with a Brissett's second TD pass of the game, 16 yards to freshman WR Stephen Louis.

Brissett found rookie WR Bo Hines for gains of 18 and then 27 yards on the first two plays, and was 4-of-4 for 78 yards on the drive. The Pack score gave the Pack the lead for good at 32-28 late in the third quarter.

PLAYER OF THE GAME
• RB Shadrach Thornton: 14 carries for 86 yards and three touchdowns

The junior running back found the endzone three times during the game, with his 23-yard scamper in the fourth quarter putting the game out of reach. Thornton has led the Pack in rushing in each of the first two games in 2014, and in eight of the last nine games overall dating back to last season.

The last time a Pack RB totaled three rushing scores in a game was in last year's season opener by Matt Dayes.

Honorable Mentions
- RB Matt Dayes: 186 total yards (79 rush, 32 rec., 75 return) and 2 TDs
- QB Jacoby Brissett: 21-of-29 for 253 yards and 2 TDs
- CB Jack Tocho: 7 tackles and 2 pass breakups

FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
• We had a big, big night for our rushing game. I thought we physically finished out the game in the fourth quarter. We took care of the football tonight. We didn't have a fumble. Our offensive line opened holes and we were able to run over them in the fourth. - head coach Dave Doeren

NOTABLES
• Wolfpups: After 10 true freshmen made their NC State debuts in last week's season opener, another three true freshmen saw action for the first time today: CB Mike Stevens, DT Justin Jones, OG Tony Adams. Another pair also made their Pack debuts tonight, DE Pharoah McKever and RB Dakwa Nichols (Nichols was special teams only).

• Sade Moves Up Scoring Chart: With eight points on the game (1 FG, 5 PATs), Pack PK Niklas Sade has now moved into second place on the Pack's all-time scoring list with 264 points. Sade is chasing the 36-year NC State record of 312 points set by RB Ted Brown (1975-78).

• Pack running backs scoring TDS: Five of the Pack's six touchdowns in the game came from the RBs. Shadrach Thornton had a pair of 2-yard scores in the first half and a 23 yard TD in the fourth quarter, the Pack's first rushing scores of the year after three passing TDs last week. For the second straight week, Matt Dayes caught a TD pass, and then added a 10-yard rushing score in the fourth quarter.

• Brissett Starts Hot: After finishing last week's game 14-of-16 on the final score drives, Brissett started today 6-of-6 before having a pass dropped late in the first quarter halt his streak.

• Pack's Youth Catching TD Passes: QB Jacoby Brissett has five touchdown passes through the first two games, and all five have been caught by either a Pack freshman or sophomore. Sophomore Matt Dayes has caught a TD pass in each of the first two games, true freshman WR Stephen Louis caught his first TD pass today, and last week sophomore WR Bra'Lon Cherry had two.

• No Flags for Pack: NC State drew only one flag today for five yards - a false start. Last week, NC State was flagged four times for 20 yards.

UP NEXT
NC State will be in road action for the first time this season next weekend, as the Pack travels to USF for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff. The game will be televised on CBSSN.

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