NC State continued to NOT make headlines this week as they took care of business at home against Eastern Kentucky. Though they are a ranked team in the FCS, the Wolfpack should not and did not have much trouble with the Colonels. Oh and they also wore those nifty black alternates.
Ok, so NC State had a little bit of trouble with EKU. In the first drive of the game, it looked like maybe the Colonels could hang around. After barely converting on 3rd and 20, the Wolfpack made it down to the goal line. Then, the wheels fell off. Matt Dayes was stopped for no gain and Brissett could only get back to the line. Facing a 3rd and goal from the 5 after a false start, Brissett failed to avoid the pass rush and was sacked. So the Wolfpack settled for a field goal…except no, the kick was blocked. The entire NC State fanbase groaned in unison and prepared for a long game.
The defense forced a 3 and out, but the offense continued to disappoint. Dakwa Nichols fumbled as he got to midfield as Eastern Kentucky caught yet another break. At the end of the first quarter, the game was inexplicably tied at 0. Things got better though. NC State started the quarter in EKU territory and Brissett took over. He eventually found Benson Browne in the end zone to put the Wolfpack on the board.
On the next drive, Brissett and Dayes alternated plays to march the team all the way down to the goal line where Jaylen Samuels ran it in for the score.
NC State would take their 14-0 lead into the half. They picked up where they left off to open the half. Samuels caught a pass and brought State to the red zone. Matt Dayes then ran for 25 yards and his first of three TDs.
The rest of the game went mostly to plan. Dayes and Brissett continued to tear up the EKU defense and on the other side, the Wolfpack defense ended up shutting out the Colonels for a 35-0 victory.
Of course it was against an FCS team, but the combination of Jacoby Brissett and Matt Dayes looked unstoppable again this week. Troy couldn’t handle them, and Eastern Kentucky had no answer for the two. Both did what they wanted basically the whole game. Going forward, it’s nice to know what they are capable of. There’s a lot to be excited about on offense if they can continue this play into the conference schedule.
The defense looked better this week. With the exception of a few early drives, they kept the Colonels out of the red zone the entire game. Hopefully this is the real NC State defense. The version of this defense we saw last week was largely ineffective against a sub-par Troy offense. At times, they even carried the team notably in the first quarter when the offense was stagnant. They looked much better this week and hopefully that kind of play is here to stay, but it’s too soon to tell.
It’s hard to get excited yet because of the weak schedule, but it’s hard to complain when you’re 2-0. Offense looks good, defense looks adequate, way to go NC State. Let’s keep these games one-sided.