Dayes, Samuels help NC State beat Eastern Kentucky 35-0
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) North Carolina State keeps finding ways to get Jaylen Samuels the ball. The early results have been impressive.
Samuels had a career-high 112 total yards and scored his fourth touchdown in two games to help the Wolfpack beat Eastern Kentucky 35-0 on Saturday night.
While Matt Dayes and the defense both had big games, Samuels had six catches for 88 yards and ran three times for 24 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown in the second quarter for the Wolfpack (2-0). It was another show of versatility - he blocks, too, by the way - uncommon for a 5-foot-11, 236-pound frame.
He had as many total yards as the FCS Colonels (1-1) managed for the entire game, with those 112 yards ranking as the fewest allowed by N.C. State since 2009.
''He's built like a fullback - he's 230 pounds and he can squat over 500 pounds, so he can play that position,'' Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren said. ''And he's blocking people with leverage. But he's got receiver hands.''
Last week Samuels ran for three touchdowns despite getting just eight offensive touches. This time he was more active in the passing game, including when he reversed field to escape closing-in defenders and had a 31-yard gain that probably spanned closer to 50 by the time he had run to the opposite side of the field.
Samuels said he can sense defenders are unsure what is coming when the ball is snapped.
''I enjoy it a lot because I can see it on their faces,'' he said. ''They don't know what I'm going to do.''
Dayes ran for 116 yards and three touchdowns in his second straight start for leading rusher Shadrach Thornton, who was suspended for the first two games. He ran for a career-best 126 last week against Troy.
Jacoby Brissett also threw a TD pass to Benson Browne for the Wolfpack.
If anything, N.C. State's performance was a bit of a reversal from the Troy win. In that game, the offense operated efficiently and had no penalties in a clean performance, while the defense had several miscues that led to big plays - enough to give Doeren something to focus on in the week that followed.
This time, the Wolfpack's offense had some early penalties and a stalled drive that ended with a blocked field goal, and led just 14-0 at halftime. But the defense overwhelmed the Ohio Valley Conference opponent, ranked No. 19 nationally in the FCS polls, from the start.
Eastern Kentucky went three-and-out on eight of its first 10 drives. The Colonels also managed just one good push across midfield.
That drive reached the Wolfpack 2 after a pass interference penalty, but N.C. State's defense came up with two negative-yardage stops. The second was Mike Rose's 6-yard sack to force fourth down, then Eastern Kentucky came up empty when Bennie Coney overthrew Joel Brown out of the end zone.
''You have to go for it when you're playing an FBS school,'' Eastern Kentucky coach Dean Hood said. ''You're not going to win by kicking field goals, and we hadn't been down in the end zone the whole half. ... The coaches had a good play call, we just didn't execute it.''
Dy'Shawn Mobley, the preseason OVC offensive player of the year, ran for 31 yards on seven carries to lead the Colonels' meager output. Coney was under pressure throughout, taking hits and throwing for 79 yards on 5-for-19 passing before calling it a night after the third.
N.C. State lost starting left guard Alex Barr in the third quarter to an apparent left leg injury. He didn't return.
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