NC State's defense continued its dominating ways, Russell Wilson and the Wolfpack offense got back on track and the Pack decimated lowly Murray State 65-7 on Saturday night at Carter-Finley Stadium. It was a dominating display for a team that was in desperate need of positive momentum after scoring just three points in its season opener.
Wilson passed for four touchdowns and 228 yards, extending his consecutive passes without an interceptions streak to 293 throws and moving into second place all-time. Toney Baker scored three times, the first time he's seen the endzone in nearly three years. True Freshman James Washington had three scores of his own and receivers Jarvis Williams and Owen Spencer each caught a touchdown. All that scoring came in the first three quarters, as coach Tom O'Brien elected to take the foot off the petal for the last 15 minutes.
Defensively the first-team defense was completely dominate. At halftime the Racers had negative two yards of total offense, and had converted just one first down on an end-around. Willie Young had two sacks, the Pack forced three turnovers, and Bobby Floyd led the team with eight tackles.
The Pack asserted itself from the first play from scrimmage, forcing a fumble that LeRoy Burgess picked up to give the Pack possession inside the Racers 35-yard line. Three plays later, Jarvis Williams pulled in a touchdown pass from Wilson along the right hash mark to take a 7-0 lead in just a minute and a half of play. It was a near repeat on the next possession, as Willie Young forced a fumble on a sack and Burgess again picked it up to give the Pack a short field. This time Wilson found a wide open Owen Spencer down the middle of the field for a 19-yard score, making it 14-0 before the 10-minute mark of the first quarter.
While the Racers managed to hang onto the ball their next two possessions, they couldn't stop the Pack's offense onslaught. James Washington scored the first touchdown of his career on a five-yard reception from Wilson and on the next possession Toney Baker scored his first touchdown since the final game of the 2006 season. The Pack made it 35-0 nothing after TJ Graham returned a punt to the 1-yard line. Two plays later James Washington picked up another score with a run up the middle.
Josh Czajkowski got in on the scoring action when a drive finally stalled for the Pack. Playing its second-string offense including Mike Glennon, the Pack marked inside the 20-yard line but couldn't convert a long third down. But Czajkowski pushed through a 36-yard field goal to keep piling it on the hapless Murray State team. Then the Pack capped the half with a 39-yard pass to Baker on a 4th and 16 play with under a minute remaining to make it a 45-0 game at the half.
The Pack didn't let up in the second half. They kept the first-string offense on the field for its final possession to start, which ended with a 2-yard run from Baker for a touchdown. On its next possession, Glennon marched them down the field for a James Washington touchdown run. It was there that the Pack made its only real mistake of the game, missing an extra point. But the offense redeemed itself with another touchdown drive on its next possession, as Brandon Barnes picked up his first career touchdown.