NC State 31, South Alabama 7

Mike Glennon threw three touchdown passes Saturday to help North

Carolina State beat South Alabama 31-7 in its home debut.

Rashard Smith and Bryan Underwood each hauled in TD catches on

the first two possessions for the Wolfpack (2-1), who had no

trouble beating the Jaguars for the second straight year at

Carter-Finley Stadium. Tony Creecy also ran for a score as N.C.

State led 28-0 by halftime and held South Alabama (1-2) scoreless

until the final minutes.

The Jaguars’ only points came on an 8-yard pass from Ross

Metheny to Jereme Jones with 5:20 left.

Glennon completed 24 of 34 passes for 257 yards in a

turnover-free performance. He had thrown four interceptions in the

season-opening loss to Tennessee in Atlanta, then struggled to get

the Wolfpack offense moving in last weekend’s 10-7 win at

Connecticut. The 6-foot-6 graduate student entered the game with

two touchdown passes this year.

Coach Tom O’Brien said there were several factors in those early

struggles. The offensive line needed to protect better after giving

up six sacks to the Huskies last week, the receivers had to run

sharper routes and Glennon had to make better decisions.

N.C. State had few such troubles against the Jaguars. The

Wolfpack opened the game with a 12-play, 80-yard drive that ended

when Glennon found Smith with a perfect pass down the right side

for a 33-yard touchdown. On the second drive, Glennon connected

with Underwood deep over the middle for a 44-yard score that made

it 14-0 at the 4:06 mark of the first quarter.

The Jaguars, who are in their second year of transition to the

Football Bowl Subdivision ranks, didn’t manage anything close to

that proficiency. Wolfpack cornerback David Amerson ripped the ball

away from receiver T.J. Glover for his 15th career interception to

end the Jaguars’ first drive and the Jaguars pushed inside the N.C.

State 35-yard line only three times all night.

It was a frustrating follow-up for the Jaguars’ offense, which

failed to score a touchdown for the first time in the fourth-year

program’s history in last week’s 9-3 home win against Nicholls

State. Metheny threw for 189 yards and the short touchdown to lead

South Alabama, which finished with 314 yards – though 112 came in

the meaningless final quarter.

N.C. State played without halfback Mustafa Greene. Greene was

scheduled to start but the school announced about an hour before

kickoff that the redshirt sophomore was suspended for the game,

though it didn’t specify a reason. Afterward, O’Brien didn’t

specify a reason Greene had been suspended and wouldn’t comment on

his status going forward except to say Greene was still on the

team.

The Wolfpack didn’t miss Greene much. Creecy got the start and

ran for 68 yards, including an 11-yard sprint around the right side

on a fourth-down play for a 21-0 lead midway through the second

quarter. Quintin Payton added a 13-yard touchdown catch from

Glennon that gave the Wolfpack a 28-0 halftime lead.