RALEIGH, N.C. -- Here are some final thoughts and observations from NC State's 46-34 win over Old Dominion.

NC State once again got off to a slow start, but the defense were able to make a few plays in the second half and the offense was dominant in Saturday's 46-34 win over Old Dominion.

Here are some final thoughts and observations on the game.


MAN OF THE HOUR: Junior quarterback Jacoby Brissett completed 21-of-29 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. He also added another 45 yards rushing in the win.

CLOSE SECOND: Junior tailback Shadrach Thornton was the third runner to see the field but once again received the most carries, and he did a lot with them.

Thorton finished with 88 yards rushing on 14 carries and had a game-high three rushing touchdowns on the day.

CLOSE THIRD: It was another productive day for sophomore tailback Matt Dayes, who continues to flash his versatility.

Dayes rushed for 82 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, and he also added three catches for 32 yards and another score.

The team's primary kick returner, totaled 75 return yards, including a 35-yard return.

TURNING POINT: NC State trailed 21-10 late in the second quarter when the defense came up with a crucial stop in the redzone that led to a missed field goal by Old Dominion.

Brissett and the Pack offense would use an 8-play, 80-yard drive to cut the game to five and a play later he found Marquez Valdes-Scantling open in the endzone for a two-point conversion.

The Wolfpack would score touchdowns on their next four drives to seize control.

Not yielding any points right before the half was critical.

SOLID STRATEGY: NC State did a great job of mixing up the playcalling offensively.

Offensive coordinator Matt Canada was able to call plays to get the ball into his playmaker's hands. NC State wasn't predictable offensively and did a good job of mixing in the Wildcat with the rest of their offense.

NC State finished the game with 29 passing attempts and 39 rushing attempts to total 495 yards of offense.

NUMBERS GAME: NC State finished the game with zero turnovers and just one penalty.

NUMBERS GAME II: Kicker Niklas Sade has now moved into second place on the Pack's all-time scoring list with 264 points. He only trails Wolfpack legendary running back Ted Brown (312).

BUSINESS AS USUAL: Sophomore cornerback Jack Tocho had another strong game, totaling seven tackles and two pass breakups.

RED ZONE PRODUCTION: NC State's defense struggled just a week after being stellar in the redzone.

Old Dominion made six trips into the redzone and converted touchdowns five times. The only time they didn't was a missed field goal.

The Wolfpack offense did have success, scoring five touchdowns and a field goal in their seven red zone chances. The only non-conversion was a missed field goal.

• The tackling. Coach Doeren said after the game that the biggest disappointment for him was the inconsistent tackling from his defense.

• The rushing defense. Everyone expected ODU to move the ball in the air, but not many believed they would come in and rush for 196 yards on 37 carries.

• Bryan Underwood. He had a carry in the win, but he has yet to catch a pass in two games.

HIT SQUAD: Three Wolfpack defenders had double-digit tackles: Jerod Fernandez (12), Rodman Noel (10), and Hakim Jones (10).

HIDDEN HERO: Making just his second start, nickel back Dravious Wright managed to lead the team in solo tackles (7). In fact, all of his tackles were solo hits.

He made several plays in space that could have yielded larger gains if Wright didn't bring down the ball-carrier.

LOST IN THE SHUFFLE: Redshirt freshman defensive end Pharoah McKever is at the back of the defensive end rotation, but he flashed his immense upside on a couple of plays against Old Dominion.

This time last year McKever was a wideout on the scout team and now he's using that natural athleticism to wreak havoc at defensive end.

Receiving the first action of his career, McKever had two tackles, one tackle for a loss, and a quarterback pressure.

• Five more Wolfpackers made their debuts this season: true freshman Mike Stevens, true freshman Tony Adams, true freshman Justin Jones and redshirt freshmen Pharoah McKever and Dakwa Nichols.

NC State played 10 true freshmen in the season opener.

• NC State's #PACKINBLACK uniforms?

• the depth at wide receiver? Five running backs, two tight ends, and two tailbacks caught passes in the win.

• the play of NC State's offensive line? That group has been the key to the Pack's attack on that side of the ball.

The group has stayed healthy and are making blocks on all three levels.

• NC State held Old Dominion to just 3-of-9 3rd down conversions in the second half after allowing 7-of-9 in the first two quarters.

• Both teams punted just one time.

• Junior Mike Rose recorded the Wolfpack's first sack of the season.

UNANSWERED QUESTION: Can NC State continue winning in the trenches (on the offensive side of the ball moving forward?

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