Dayes ran for 205 yards to lead the Wolfpack (5-2, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who ran out to a 28-0 lead before the offense sleptwalk through the rest of the afternoon against the Demon Deacons (3-5, 1-4). Still, what an opening quarter it was: four touchdowns of at least 50 yards in the first five drives, including 85- and 57-yard runs by Dayes.
It was more than enough to end a six-game losing streak in Winston-Salem, a curious skid that had frustrated eventual NFL quarterbacks Philip Rivers, Russell Wilson and Mike Glennon. N.C. State hadn't won here since 2001 when Rivers — now a 12-year NFL veteran with nearly 39,000 career passing yards — was a sophomore.
Jacoby Brissett connected with Maurice Trowell for a 59-yard touchdown pass 53 seconds into the game, then followed Dayes' 85-yard TD run on the second series by hitting freshman Nyheim Hines deep down the left side for a 58-yard touchdown. By the time Dayes struck again, N.C. State had rolled to 322 yards in the opening quarter.
It marked the first time a Bowl Subdivision team had scored four touchdowns of at least 50 yards in the same quarter since Toledo did it in the third quarter against Eastern Michigan in October 2012, according to STATS.
About the only thing the Wolfpack accomplished the rest of the day was running out the clock.
The offense never returned to the end zone as its output fell dramatically, while rookie Kyle Bambard missed a pair of short field goals. N.C. State finished with 153 yards over the last three quarters, with Brissett throwing for 173 of his 227 yards in the opening period.
Freshman reserve quarterback Kendall Hinton scored on a 69-yard keeper late in the first half and added a second scoring run in the final minute for the Demon Deacons, who otherwise had to fight for just about every gain and surrendered seven sacks.
The Wolfpack got a 52-yard punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter from Bra'Lon Cherry, but lost starting linebacker Jerod Fernandez late in the third when he was carted off with an apparent right leg injury after making a tackle.