After last week’s disappointing finish, an all-around showing was what the NC State Wolfpack needed before hitting the road for ACC action soon.
NC State did just that as they dominated from the opening kickoff to the closing seconds, defeating the VMI Keydets 45-7 Saturday afternoon inside Carter-Finley Stadium.
The Wolfpack (2-1) won the toss electing to send their defense on the field first. That decision would pay off as the State defense forced a quick three-and-out, which gave the Wolfpack offense decent field position. State cashed in on a 12 play, 58-yard drive that ended in a one-yard Delbert Mimms score. The PAT put the Wolfpack ahead 7-0 with 8:27 remaining in the quarter.
The Wolfpack defense continued their dominance as the very next VMI (1-2) drive ended in a tip drill, 30-yard pick six from Robert Kennedy to push the NC State lead to 14-0 after the PAT with just over one minute off the clock.
The State offense got in on the scoring again with a quick four-play, 85-yard drive that resulted in a 16-yard Brennan Armstrong touchdown pass to Bradley Rozner. The play that set up the score was an Armstrong bomb to Julian Gray for 64 yards. The latest score put the Wolfpack ahead 21-0 with just over 90 seconds left in the opening stanza.
VMI’s offense still suffered to get anything going in the second quarter. A punt pinned the Wolfpack deep inside the five-yard line. NC State answered with a 17-play, 83-yard scoring drive that ended in a 31-yard field goal from Braden Narveson to make the score 24-0 in favor of the Wolfpack with 7:37 left in the half. Mimms found the end zone for the second time, scoring on another short-yard touchdown with 25 seconds left in the quarter making the score 31-0 going into the break.
VMI finally erased the zero off the board with a drive that included a couple of big plays that ended with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Collin Shannon to Egypt Nelson to trim the Wolfpack lead to 31-7 with 2:36 left in the third.
A personal foul penalty after the score would prove costly as VMI would be forced to kickoff 15 yards deeper, which resulted in Julian Gray returning the short kick 62 yards pushing the Wolfpack lead back to 31 points.
Demarcus Jones II added another short score with 7:45 left in the game – upping the NC State lead to 45-7 capping off another high play scoring drive. Neither team got much closer the rest of the way as both teams emptied their benches leaving the score at 45-7 to close the contest.
Armstrong finished the game 27-32 for 264 yards and one touchdown. Freshman KC Concepcion led the receivers with 7 catches for 62 yards. The back by committee saw a strong showing from all, but a surprise output from Kendrick Raphael who finished with a team-high 85 yards on 16 carries.
Veteran linebacker Payton Wilson totaled 9 tackles followed by Jaylon Scott with 8.
NC State is back in action Friday night as they travel to Charlottesville to face UVA. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 PM.