RALEIGH, N.C. -- 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
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.