The good, bad and ugly from NC State's win over The Citadel
Posted September 22, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — The NC State Wolfpack welcomed Shadrach Thornton to college football Saturday as the freshman capped the first two drives the game with rushing touchdowns.
There was a small hiccup early for the Wolfpack defense, giving up a Darien Robinson 65-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 7 with a little over nine minutes left. After that, it was all NC State against the smaller D-IAA Bulldogs.
The offense scored touchdowns on its first four possessions and six of its first seven en route to a 52-14 victory. The defense kept the triple option in check which was a concern heading into the game. But, much like most bigger, faster, stronger teams do against the IAA competition, the Wolfpack dominated the game thoroughly.
So here is a look at how NC State improved to 3-1.
Shadrach Thornton, the freshman from Georgia had a monster start to his NCAA career -- 75 yards and two touchdowns in the first half alone. Thornton finished the night with 21 carries for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns. Take into account this was The Citadel not Miami, who is next up for the Pack, but still an impressive debut for the freshman. Even more impressive was his turn with the media after the game. Thornton handled questions like a season pro and gave a ton of credit to his offensive line. He was impressive on and off the field.
The defense continued to be stellar. Throw out one huge run and the State defense controlled the line of scrimmage, holding the Bulldog triple option in check. After the game Tom O’Brien had high mark for his D, pointing out that they held The Citadel to under 200 yards rushing and that included giving up 65- and 15-yard touchdown runs.
David Amerson tied the NC State career mark for interceptions with his 16th of his career, tying him with Eric Williams and Art Rooney. Amerson vowed to be better after the Tennessee game, which he called the worst of his football career and has responded with three picks in three games since the opener.
Mike Glennon was efficient again. He didn’t have to put up huge numbers, but was accurate again and made the throws when the Pack needed them. Glennon was 19-for-24 which is a 79 percent completion rate, add two rushing touchdowns and a scoring toss to Brian Underwood and it was a nigh that Glennon should have had against the Bulldogs. He did have fumble, so it wasn’t a clean sheet for the quarterback, but he has strung two good games together. Plus, Glennon was an effective goal line back -- his two rushing scores covered three yards.
Special teams also shined. Rashard Smith had a 73-yard punt return that broke the back of The Citadel and Niklas Sade continues to make extra points without a miss. Sade has connected on 57 straight point-afters.
The third quarter wasn’t exactly a work of art -- two fumbles for the offense. One cost the Pack a touchdown when replay ruled that Tobias Palmer did not have control of the ball and fumbled the ball through the end zone. The other from Glennon after the Pack forced a turnover on downs that led to The Citadel’s second touchdown of the game.
The offensive line still had a few shaky moments, but really nothing terrible.
There is no running clock in college football when D-IA schools play D-IAA.
NC State beat a team that they had far more talent and size the way they should have.