Huge 1st quarter helps NC State beat Wake Forest 35-17
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) North Carolina State started so fast that one quarter's worth of dominance was enough to end its long skid at Wake Forest.
Matt Dayes scored on two long runs and the Wolfpack had four touchdowns of at least 50 yards in the opening period to beat the Demon Deacons 35-17 on Saturday, earning the program's first win in Winston-Salem in 14 years.
The Wolfpack (5-2, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) had lost two straight league games - one by a touchdown to Louisville then one after blowing a 10-0 lead at Virginia Tech - then headed into a bye with time to stew over what had gone wrong. It also gave Dave Doeren's players the chance to regroup and heal, and they certainly looked ready against the Demon Deacons (3-5, 1-4).
''These guys will tell you, when you put a lot in, it hurts when you lose,'' Doeren said. ''Especially if you feel like you have a regret, like there's something else you could've done. ... Guys really invested again. Credit to them.''
Besides taking a positive into next week's visit from No. 6 Clemson, the Wolfpack snapped that six-game losing streak in Winston-Salem - a curious skid in which the Demon Deacons had frustrated eventual NFL quarterbacks Philip Rivers, Russell Wilson and Mike Glennon.
N.C. State hadn't won here since 2001 when Rivers - now a 12-year NFL veteran with nearly 39,000 career passing yards - was a sophomore.
Dayes ran for 205 yards to lead the Wolfpack, who ran out to a 28-0 lead before the offense sleptwalk through the rest of the afternoon.
Still, what an opening quarter it was.
Jacoby Brissett connected with Maurice Trowell for a 59-yard touchdown pass 53 seconds into the game, then Dayes followed with an 85-yard run. Brissett later found freshman Nyheim Hines deep down the left side for a 58-yard touchdown. And by the time Dayes struck again from 57 yards out, N.C. State had rolled to 322 yards in the opening quarter.
''I was definitely surprised about what we did,'' Dayes said of the 28-0 burst. ''But we have a high-powered offense ... and I believe it's possible to do things like that.''
It marked the first time a Bowl Subdivision team had scored four touchdowns of at least 50 yards in the same quarter since Toledo did it in the third quarter against Eastern Michigan in October 2012, according to STATS.
''That was a great crowd, it was great energy, and we did not live up to our end of the deal,'' second-year Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said. ''It was a 12 o'clock kickoff today, and our football team showed up at 12:45.''
N.C. State's offense never returned to the end zone as its output fell dramatically, finishing with 153 yards over the last three quarters.
Freshman reserve quarterback Kendall Hinton scored on a 69-yard keeper late in the first half and added a second scoring run in the final minute for the Demon Deacons, who otherwise had to fight for just about every gain and surrendered seven sacks in a loss that makes its bowl push an even longer shot.
''It hurts a lot,'' linebacker Brandon Chubb said, ''especially with only three wins and that window (to get) three more wins shortening and shortening week after week.''
The Wolfpack got a 52-yard punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter from Bra'Lon Cherry, but lost starting linebacker Jerod Fernandez late in the third when he was carted off with an apparent right leg injury after making a tackle. Doeren said X-rays revealed no fracture but the nature of the injury wasn't immediately clear.
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