Pack Cruises Past Chippewas, 38-24

RALEIGH, N.C. - An offensive explosion led by Mike Glennon's three first half touchdowns set the tone, but NC State's defense corralled four second half interceptions to seal the deal in a 38-24 victory over Central Michigan Saturday at Carter-Finley Stadium.

Glennon finished with 244 yards on 20-of-36 passing, and tied his career-high with four touchdowns.

James Washington led the ground attack with 109 yards on 25 carries, becoming the first Wolfpacker to notch back-to-back 100 yard rushing games since Andre Brown in 2005. Tony Creecy pitched in 61 yards on 16 carries.

After struggling in the first half, NC State's defense put the game away with a strong second half performance. The Pack (3-3) gave up 254 first half yards, but returned from the locker room with authority, limiting the Chippewas (2-4) to 43 yards, only two first downs, and picking off quarterback Ryan Radcliff three times in the decisive third quarter. Radcliff matched Glennon throw for throw before the break, but only managed 4-of-15 passing for 43 yards and four interceptions down the stretch.

Sophomore David Amerson led the Pack with two interceptions, Brandan Bishop contributed a forced fumble and a pick, and Terrell Manning added an interception and forced fumble of his own after missing the last two games due to injury. Earl Wolff led the team with 11 tackles, nine of them solo, and one fumble recovery.

Jay Smith, Tobais Palmer, George Bryan, and Steven Howard caught one touchdown each from Glennon. Smith led all receivers with 61 yards on five receptions.

NC State broke out black uniforms for the first time in school history Saturday. The new uniforms featured pink lettering in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. The Pack also unveiled new red helmets, worn for the first time since 1999.

The first series of the second half came to a close when Manning picked off an ill-advised third down pass by Radcliff. Art Norman's pressure forced a risky throw over the middle, which Manning scooped just above the turf at the Central Michigan 39.

Seven plays later, Glennon stood in against tremendous pressure to find a diving Palmer from 10 yards away to extend the Pack lead to 28-17.

Amerson stepped in front of Radcliff's very next pass, and returned it 28 yards to the Central Michigan 35. The Central Michigan defense would hold firm, as State's drive stalled after a failed 4th and 5 at the Chippewa 30.

Bishop came up with the Pack's third interception of the quarter with under a minute remaining in the third, snagging Radcliff's overthrow at the Chippewa 38. Washington made the turnover count seven plays later with a two-yard run for his fifth rushing touchdown of the season.

On the Pack's next possession, Creecy's 18 yards on four carries pushed NC State within range for a Niklas Sade 45-yard field goal with 8:37 remaining to make it 38-17.

With the situation looking bleak for the Chippewas, Paris Cotton took a hand-off 77 yards to paydirt on Central Michigan's next play from scrimmage to cut the Wolfpack lead to 38-24.

Central Michigan recovered the ensuing onside kick to keep possession, and drove inside the Pack 12 before Amerson's second interception of the day ended the threat.

Though the Pack defense served as the story of the second half, the contest began with an impressive aerial display by both offenses.

Bryan's second touchdown reception of the year, and 15th of his career, opened the scoring at 11:41. Glennon found Bryan on a seam route over the middle from 18 yards out to cash in on an eight play, 48-yard drive.

The Chippewas responded on the next possession to even the score 7-7, attacking through the air behind Radcliff's 5-of-5 start for 61 yards. Wilson's 17-yard reception capped off the eight play, 67-yard drive.

Three minutes later, the Wolfpack regained a seven-point advantage as Glennon slid up in the pocket and hit Smith crossing from 12 yards out for his second touchdown of the game. The seven play, 86-yard drive also featured a 47-yard reception by T.J. Graham and 22 yards rushing from Washington. Graham moved into second among the Pack's all-time all-purpose yardage leaders on the day.

NC State forced a three-and-out on Central Michigan's next possession, but Graham's fumble on the punt return set up the Chippewas inside the Pack 25. Two plays later, Radcliff connected with Courtney Williams on a short out which turned into a 23-yard touchdown thanks to some nifty downfield blocking, evening the score once again at 14-14.

Central Michigan took its first lead of the game early in the second quarter on a 22-yard David Harman field goal. Radcliff's 32-yard completion to Jerry Harris set up the scoring opportunity.

Howard caught a two-yard touchdown pass in the back of the end zone to reclaim the lead for NC State at 21-17 with 3:30 remaining in the half. Glennon engineered the 13 play, 80-yard drive, going 6-of-7 for 57 yards and notching his third touchdown of the half. Smith hung on to a 17-yard catch over the middle, despite a vicious hit from Jahleel Addae, to put the Pack in position at the Chippewa 5.

Bishop negated a huge play for Central Michigan on the following drive, stripping the ball from Titus Davis at the tail end of 46-yard reception that would have put the Chippewas in the red zone. Wolff came up with the loose ball to regain possession for the Wolfpack with 1:38 left in the half.

NC State takes next week off, but returns to ACC action October 22 in Charlottesville to meet Virginia.

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