Although it wasn't until the fourth game that NC State picked off a pass, when they did they made it count.
Senior linebacker D.J. Green stole it and returned it 37 yards for the Pack's first score of the game, on Central Michigan's first of fensive play.
It was the second score of Green's career, as he fell on blocked punt against Boston College in 2010.
The Pack secondary got into the act in the fourth quarter, as safeties Josh Stanley and Hakeem Jones both picked off CMU passes.
Players See First Action
Two players saw their first action in a Wolfpack uniform today.
Wide receiver Travares Copeland, a transfer from West Virginia, and DE Drew Davis, a Raleigh native who red-shirted last season both played for the first time.
JUCO transfer Ali Kassem saw his first action from scrimmage today (he had played on special teams in the first three games), lining up as an extra offensive lineman in the Pack's ‘jumbo' packages.
In addition, defensive tackle A.J. Ferguson saw his first action of the season for the Wolfpack.
Junior defensive tackle Thomas Teal has been a stalwart in the middle for the Pack this season, but today he found himself in an unfamiliar position: defensive end.
With Darryl Cato-Bishop and Forrest West out with injuries, Teal lined up at end several times during the game to help stop the run. The move must have been effective, as Central Michigan was able to muster just 27 rushing yards in the first three quarters and 94 on the day.
True freshman tailback Matt Dayes scored his fifth touchdown of the season today.
He has now rushed for four and has one receiving TD.
Pack With The (Texas) Hat Trick
The Wolfpack scored often and in a variety of ways today against Central Michigan - scoring on offense, defense and special teams in the same game for the first time since 2011.
Linebacker D.J. Green started it off with a 37-interception return for a score. Shadrach Thornton rushed for the Pack's first score, while Rashard Smith returned a punt for six all in the first half. QB Pete Thomas added an 80-yard TD pass to Bryan Underwood in the fourth quarter.
What A Rush
NC State's 182 rushing yards in the first half was more than the Pack posted in all but two entire games last season and the most in the first half since 1997, when a Mike O'Cain led team rushed for 189 yards in the first half in a 47-45 win at Duke.
A pair of NC State wideouts had productive days gaining yards. Bryan Underwood finished with 190 yards of total offense (148 receiving, 42 rushing), and Rashard Smith had 167 total yards (87 on punt returns, 41 rushing, and 39 receiving).