ACC Football: N.C. State 38, Central Michigan 24
Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 8, 2011
RALEIGH ó The first half of the season didnít go the way North Carolina State wanted, but it ended on a positive note for the Wolfpack.
Mike Glennon passed for 244 yards and four touchdowns to help N.C. State beat Central Michigan 38-24 on Saturday.
James Washington rushed for 109 yards and a score for the Wolfpack (3-3), who picked up their first win against a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent this season.
ěIím happy that weíre 3-3,î linebacker Terrell Manning said. ěIt could be a lot worse with the way weíve been playing.î
N.C. State heads into its open date with six games remaining, all in Atlantic Coast Conference play.
The Wolfpackís goal is to get healthy and try to make a late push the way they did in 2007, Tom OíBrienís first season as coach. N.C. State started that year 1-5 before winning four games in a row after its open date.
ěAs far as I know, the ACC is wide open right now,î Glennon said. ěSo if we win out, I donít see why we wouldnít be in the ACC championship.î
N.C. State, which trailed 17-14 midway through the second quarter, scored 24 consecutive points to seize control against Central Michigan (2-4).
The Wolfpackís much-maligned defense forced five turnovers and stopped the Chippewas from scoring on eight consecutive possessions at one point. The Wolfpack, hindered by injuries on defense all season, welcomed back a couple of key contributors in Manning and lineman Brian Slay. Manning had a sack, a forced fumble and a key interception in the second half after missing the last two games with a knee injury.
ěTerrell helped us a lot just by being out there,î OíBrien said. ěHe understands the defense. He does some things out there; he does it right. Thatís the best thing I can say about him. He does it right.î
N.C. State entered the game last in the ACC in points allowed and 11th in the league in total yards allowed. But Central Michigan, which racked up 254 yards in the first half, managed just 43 yards in the third quarter.
ěIn terms of responding (to criticism), itís more of not even listening,î Manning said. ěWe know we can play defense at the end of the day. Weíve got to rely on each other and hold each other accountable.î
Ryan Radcliff passed for 245 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions for Central Michigan.
Paris Cotton ran for 158 yards and a touchdown as the Chippewas dropped to 0-7 all time against current members of the ACC.
Radcliff was just 1 of 10 passing with three interceptions in the third quarter after completing 15 of 17 passes in the first half.
ěIn the first half, I did what a quarterback is supposed to do, which is manage the offense and move the ball down the field,î Radcliff said. ěIn the second half, I didnít do that. I didnít manage the offense too well.î
The Chippewas cut N.C. Stateís lead to 38-24 on a 77-yard touchdown run by Cotton midway through the fourth quarter, and they recovered the ensuing onside kick. But David Amerson came up with his second interception of the day, picking off Radcliffís pass in the end zone to help preserve the victory for N.C. State.
The game was a shootout at the start, with each team scoring a pair of touchdowns in the first quarter. Glennon, who threw three touchdown passes in the first half, capped the Wolfpackís first two drives with scoring strikes to George Bryan and Jay Smith.
Radcliff matched Glennon with two touchdown passes of his own, but the Chippewas couldnít keep up the pace once they started losing the ball.
Central Michigan gave up the ball inside N.C. Stateís 20 late in the second quarter when Titus Davis lost a fumble at the end of a 46-yard reception. Radcliff then threw interceptions on his teamís first two possessions of the second half.
Manning picked off the first pass, and Glennon cashed in on the chance with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Tobias Palmer that put N.C. State ahead 28-17.
Washington scored on a 2-yard run early in the fourth quarter after another Radcliff interception to extend the Wolfpackís lead to 35-17.
ěWe made too many mistakes,î Central Michigan coach Dan Enos said.
N.C. State came out in uniforms different from the red jerseys and white pants that it traditionally wears at home. The Wolfpack wore black jerseys featuring pink numerals for breast cancer awareness, black pants and red helmets.
The Associated Press