RALEIGH, N.C. — Mike Glennon threw two
touchdown passes while Tobais Palmer returned a kickoff 100 yards for a
score to help North Carolina State beat Wake Forest 37-6 on Saturday
and secure bowl eligibility.
Logan Winkles and Asa Watson each had TD
catches for the Wolfpack (6-4, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). Tony
Creecy also ran for a 1-yard touchdown for the game’s first score as
N.C. State jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the opening quarter.
Palmer then opened the second half with
his end-zone-to-end-zone return, tied for longest in school history, to
blow the game open and ensure the Wolfpack would remain in firm control.
Michael Campanaro threw a touchdown pass
on a miserable afternoon for the Demon Deacons (5-5, 3-5), who also
needed a win to become bowl eligible. But the Wolfpack dominated up
front, sacking Tanner Price five times and holding the Demon Deacons to
185 total yards.
That included allowing just 16 yards rushing on 23 attempts.
While both teams were chasing that sixth win, this was about more than just a bowl trip for the Wolfpack.
After an upset of then-No. 3 Florida
State and a win at Maryland, N.C. State controlled its own destiny in
the Atlantic Division race to earn a spot in the league championship
game in Charlotte. But rival North Carolina snapped a five-year losing
streak to the Wolfpack with a final-seconds punt return for a touchdown,
then N.C. State returned home with a lifeless performance in a 33-6
loss to Virginia last weekend.
Coach Tom O’Brien said the team had to relocate its pre-UNC form. The Wolfpack responded.
Glennon threw for 258 yards on
25-for-41 passing, while Shadrach Thornton ran for 110 yards on 27
carries in only the third 100-yard rushing game for N.C. State all
Wake Forest was coming off a 28-14 win
against Boston College in which Campanaro tied the ACC single-game
record with 16 receptions. He didn’t get open often Saturday, with his
only highlight coming when he took a quick lateral from Price, then
found Terence Davis alone downfield for an easy 39-yard touchdown early
in the second quarter.
But the Demon Deacons didn’t score
again, while Campanaro finished with five catches for just 14 yards.
Price threw for 113 yards on 18-for-33 passing with an interception.
This game might’ve been the best chance
for the Demon Deacons to reach bowl eligibility. Next week, they travel
to No. 4 Notre Dame, then return home for Thanksgiving weekend to face
Vanderbilt, which won last year’s meeting 41-7 in Winston-Salem.