The Wolfpack offense sputtered out of the blocks Saturday against Western Carolina – generating just 57 yards of total offense. But a 21-point 2nd quarter, ignited by 102 yards on the ground jolted NC State to a 41-0 shutout over the Catamounts.
NC State’s ground game wasn’t the only thing cooking. The Wolfpack defense didn’t give up a single point – playing so stingily that the Western Carolina offense made it out of their own territory just once – during their first possession of the game.
“Just really proud of a lot of the guys in the game,” Coach Doeren said after the win. To get a shutout and to hold a team to eight yards rushing the defensive guys did a great job. I thought we started slow on offense and then got the run game going. It was great for Bam (Knight) to get his first 100-yard game. I thought Jordan Houston gave us a good spark in the second half with his change of pace.”
With two seemingly cupcake games out of the way, the Wolfpack will travel to West Virginia next week to take on the Mountaineers – their toughest opponent this season. And while Coach Doeren is happy with his squad’s overall performance and improvement on the little things, he knows next week it will be important for the his team to get off to a better start.
“We had three penalties on the day, so that improved from six. That’s something we talked a lot about – taking the pre-snap off the film. We were much better on third down and defensively we were outstanding. I thought red zone offense was much better, but you’re never going to be completely happy at the end of the game. You win with whatever the margin is, but there’s things you’re going to think about. You have a guy wide open and overthrow him…we’ve just got to operate a little but better early.”
- NC State has now won 32 straight games against FCS/Division 1-AA teams.
- NC State has also won 15 straight non-conference games at home, and it 8-1 at home under Doeren.
- The shutout is the first for NC State since 2015 (Western Kentucky).
- NC State outscored WCU 309-8, the biggest run differential since 2014 against North Carolina (388-30).
- RB Zonovan Knight finished with 116 yards rushing, going over 100 yards in only his 2nd career game.