North Carolina State finished the 2011 season with an 8-5 record, after defeating Louisville in the Belk Bowl by a 31-24 score. Junior quarterback Mike Glennon led the way for the Wolfpack, passing for 264 yards and three touchdowns.
The good game for Glennon was all the more necessary as Louisville was able to shutdown North Carolina State’s ground game. James Washington was held to 45 yards on 16 carries. But the passing attack allowed North Carolina State to jump out to a 21-10 lead at halftime. TJ Graham was the other offensive star, converting 7 receptions into 116 yards and two touchdowns. Of course, the defense did its part too, scoring on a 65-yard interception return in the third quarter to improve the score to 31-10.
Give credit to Louisville and its coach Charlie Strong. The Cardinals rallied in the second half to narrow the score after relying on trick plays, such as a fake punt and onside kick. And freshman quarterback Teddy Bridgewater made it interesting with his 274 yards passing and three touchdowns of his own. But the damage was done in the first three quarters as North Carolina State got the big lead and held on to the victory.
For the Wolfpack, the season ends on a high note. After being upset by Boston College, North Carolina State defeated Clemson, Maryland, and Louisville to finish with an 8-5 record. That’s two bowl wins in a row, following last year’s defeat of West Virginia in the Champs Bowl.