RALEIGH — Decked out in new all-black uniforms, N.C. State looked different Saturday for its final nonconference game of the season.
The Wolfpack played different, too, in piecing together a 38-24 win over Central Michigan at Carter-Finley Stadium.
Quarterback Mike Glennon threw for four touchdowns and State's defense created five turnovers, four in the second half, to pick up its first win over a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent this season.
At 3-3, the Wolfpack heads into its open week with renewed hope that the 2011 season can still be saved.
"I think today was the first day that we showed what we're capable of doing," said Glennon, who completed 20-of-36 passes for 244 yards.
"The first half on offense, the second for the defense -- if we put that together, I think we'd be tough to stop."
In pink numbers (for breast cancer awareness), the Pack's beleaguered defense got out of the red by causing a big turnover before the end of the half and then had three interceptions in the decisive third quarter.
Central Michigan quarterback Ryan Radcliff charred the Pack's defense, which got starters Terrell Manning (linebacker) and Brian Slay (defensive tackle) back earlier than expected from the injured list, for 196 yards in the first half and two touchdowns.
The Chippewas (2-4) led 17-14 after a muffed punt by T.J. Graham and a 23-yard touchdown connection between Radcliff and Courtney Williams.
Glennon's third TD pass of the first half, a 2-yarder to Steven Howard three minutes and 30 seconds into the second quarter, gave State the lead back at 21-17.
CMU started to move the ball for a late score but State safety Brandon Bishop ran down receiver Titus Davis after a 46-yard catch-and-run and forced a fumble at State's 12-yard line.
"(On) defense, I don't know what we were doing there for awhile, but we seemed to figure it out at halftime," Wolfpack coach Tom O'Brien said.
State's defense picked off Radcliffe four times in the second half, including on each of the first two possessions.
On the first series of the second half, Manning, after heavy pressure from end Art Norman, picked off Radcliff and set up State's offense at CMU's 37-yard line.
Glennon hit Tobais Palmer for a 10-yard touchdown to cap the short drive and State scored the next 10 points.
James Washington (109 rushing yards), who ran for more than 100 yards for the second straight game, tacked on a 2-yard touchdown run 13 minutes, 30 seconds into the fourth quarter to make it 35-17.
CMU got a 77-yard touchdown run by Paris Cotton to cut State's lead to 38-24.
The Chippewas recovered the ensuing onside kick and got down to State's 11 yard line but corner David Amerson picked off Radcliff in the end zone for his second interception of the game.
In the second half, State's defense looked more like it did a year ago, instead of the well-worn one that had been 0-3 against FBS opponents this season.
Manning, who injured his left knee against South Alabama and missed the past two games, came back with nine tackles, a sack and the interception. Slay and tackle J.R. Sweezy gave the Pack more depth at front, where it's still missing three regulars.
With a week off before a road trip to Virginia on Oct. 22, which begins a six-game ACC stretch to close the season, O'Brien is counting on his team looking like the one he had hoped to see before the season started.
"We're going to take some time now and try to get everybody healthy and try to make a run in the second half of the year," he said.
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