NC State proved once again to be a second half team. Trailing 21-18 against Old Dominion at the midway break, the team scored four touchdowns in the second half securing a win for NC State with a final score of 46-34.
It was a big rushing game for the Wolfpack who ran for a total of 242 yards. Leading the team in yards was junior running back Shadrach Thornton, who had 86 yards on 14 carries. Thornton scored three touchdowns against ODU with the final being a 23 yard carry into the end zone with 3:59 left in the game, securing NC State’s win.
In addition, sophomore running back Matt Dayes had 79 yards on 13 carries with two touchdowns.
On the opposite side ODU’s senior quarterback Taylor Heinicke threw for 274 yards and two touchdowns on Saturday night. Freshman running back Ray Lawry ran for 71 yards and three touchdowns with 55 of those yards coming in the first half.
The way the game started it looked as if ODU’s offense would control the tempo throughout. NC State found themselves unable to slow them down, struggling to get off the field on third down. Heinicke has been a key player for ODU and showcased his abilities with his accurate passing and series of runs.
“Their quarterback is a great player and we had a hard time with him,” coach Dave Doeren said.
It was a good night for NC State’s offense and quarterback Jacoby Brissett. Brissett threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns.
The same can not be said for the defense’s performance however. They struggled finding an answer for ODU’s offense tremendously in the first half but were able to gain some control later in the game. ODU converted 15 times on third and fourth down plays, never giving NC State breathing room and staying in the ring to put up a fight.
While the second half was much better for NC State, there is much to improve upon before they take on Florida State on September 27.
*Section Photo credit to Lance King, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to James Guillory, USA Today Sports