NC State Defeats EKU Behind Superb Defensive Effort

 

 

 

RALEIGH, N.C. (gopack.com) - The NC State defense forced nine three-and-outs on Eastern Kentucky's 11 offensive possessions, as the Wolfpack shut out the visiting Colonels 42-0 Saturday night at Carter-Finley Stadium in front of a sellout crowd of 57,600. 

The Wolfpack defense held Eastern Kentucky to just 112 yards of total offense, only 15 in the second half. RB Matthew Dayes eclipsed 100 yards for the second straight game, and QB Jacoby Brissett was proficient once again completing 17-of-22 passes. 

WOLFPACK DRIVE OF THE 1ST HALF 
8 plays, 60-yard TD drive in second quarter. 

After a scoreless first quarter, the Pack opened the scoring early in the second half. NC State went 60 yards in eight plays, culminating in a Jacoby Brissett to Benson Browne 5-yard TD pass. On the drive, Brissett was 3-of-3 for 37 yards. 

The momentum of the drive changed after an official review for an incomplete pass, NC State's Bra'Lon Cherry was credited with a 22-yard catch. Two plays later, Brissett found Browne for the game's first TD.

WOLFPACK DRIVE OF THE 2ND HALF 
4 plays, 70-yard TD drive on opening possession of second half 

Holding a 14-0 lead at the half, the Pack took the opening kickoff and went 70 yards in only four plays to extend the lead. Highlighted by a 31-yard Brissett to Jaylen Samuels catch-and-run, RB Matt Dayes capped the drive with a 25-yard gallop untouched just 1:35 into the second half. 

TOP WOLFPACK PERFORMANCES 
• NC State's first quarter defense 
The Wolfpack forced Eastern Kentucky into three straight three-and-outs to start the game. In the opening quarter, the Pack did not give up a first down, and held the Colonels to just 10 yards on nine plays. 

• NC State's second half defense 
The Pack defense was dominant after the half. NC State did not give up a single first down in the entire second half, as the Colonels accumulated just 15 yards, going three-and-out on all six drives. 

• RB Matthew Dayes - 24 rushes, 116 yards and 3 TDs 
For the second straight game, Dayes went over 100 yards rushing, and today tied his career-high with three rushing scores. 

• WR Jumichael Ramos - 7 catches, 95 yards 

• FB/TE Jaylen Samuels - 6 catches, 88 yards; 3 carries, 24 yards 

• QB Jacoby Brissett - 17-of-22 for 216 yards, 1 TD 

NOTABLES 
• NC State held Eastern Kentucky to just 112 yards of total offense, the fewest for a Pack opponent since 2009 (Murray State - 36). 

• Coming into 2015, graduate TE Benson Browne did not record a catch in 194 snaps. But his final campaign is a different story, as he has recorded a TD in back-to-back games now to start the season. 

• WR Bra'Lon Cherry returned 4 punts for 74 yards, including a career-long 38-yard return in the third quarter. Last year, NC State as a team finished with just 62 punt return yards. 

• RB Matthew Dayes has rushed for 242 yards through the first two games of 2015. That rushing total is the most for a Wolfpack player since Joe McIntosh posted 270 yards in the first two games of 1983. 

• On Eastern Kentucky's 11 possessions, the Pack defense recorded nine three-and-outs (counting their final two-play drive). 

• Through two games, NC State has not committed a turnover. The last time the Pack went the first two games without a turnover was 2010. 

• NC State also had more than 40 minutes of possession in each of the first two games. Since TOP was kept for every game starting in 1981, NC State has never gone back-to-back games over 40 minutes. 

• Through the first two games, opponents have converted just 3-of-21 third downs. 

UP NEXT 
The Pack will be in road action for the first time next weekend, as NC State will travel to Old Dominion for a 7 p.m. contest. The game will be televised by the American Sports Network.