Overthrowing the Monarchs
Another week came and went, but unless you’re a hardcore NC State fan, you likely didn’t watch the Wolfpack completely overpower the Old Dominion Monarchs on Saturday night. It’s ok, I watched it for you. Here’s what happened:
It was almost surreal how easily they drove the field. On their first possession, a combination of short passes and runs allowed NC State to pound out a 15 play, 73 yard drive that ended in a Jaylen Samuels touchdown.
Later, the defense again succumbed to the “one big play” offense. A long 70 yard pass play put ODU on the board and tied the game at 7
But that was ok, Jacoby Brissett took over on the next drive. He threw a couple of long passes, scrambled out of the pocket and ran it in for a score. A few drives later, Brissett found Samuels through the air for another score. NC State went into the half with a comfortable 21-7 lead.
The offense got a little lazy in the third quarter, but thankfully the defense continued to play well. In the third quarter, Brandon Cherry returned a punt to the ODU 20. Matt Dayes found his way into the end zone a few plays later.
The rest of the game was pretty much irrelevant. The only notable happening was the return of RB Shadrach Thornton. Previously kicked off the team for a violation of rules, he was reinstated this week and scored a touchdown in garbage time on Saturday. His touchdown with 1:33 left in the game made the final score 38-14.
This was supposed to be the trap game. On the road, a primetime game, and the ODU team on the rise; NC State usually struggles in this type of game. For a team that usually plays down to their competition, this game was refreshing. The Wolfpack got ahead early and were never challenged.
Brissett had his lowest passing yardage of the season, but I’d like to think it’s because he didn’t need to. Much of the second half was just simple rushing plays to run the clock. He also hit his season high for rushing yards. Mostly thanks to his 21 yard TD run, Brissett was much more successful scrambling in this game.
Just like in the Troy game, one play made up most of Old Dominion’s offense. With the exception of that play, the defense kept the Monarchs quiet all night. Of course, we’d all love to do without the one play, but if that’s what it takes, I think most of the fans would be ok with that.
Finally, the return of Shadrach was also a bright spot. While Matt Dayes runs with a more elusive style, Thornton is definitely a power running back. Having both really completes the backfield, especially with Samuels as the “fullback.”
Oh no, this isn’t good. I’m starting to believe. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but NC State is starting to look really good. I’m not crazy, but this looks like a different NC State team. They aren’t allowing these lesser teams to stick around and make games close. I know, I know. They’re going to let me down. Just let me believe for a second ok?