A win is a win, even in the spring game against your own teammates.
So N.C. State quarterback Jalan McClendon wasn’t going to complain after the Red team beat up the White, 47-0 on Saturday.
“I’ll never argue with 47-0,” McClendon said.
But the sophomore had been looking forward to squaring off with freshman quarterback Jakobi Meyers in the Kay Yow Spring Game at Carter-Finley Stadium.
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With injuries taxing the depth chart, Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren went with the more traditional first-team vs. backups format instead of mixing and matching sides and letting the quarterbacks have their own teams.
McClendon, who has the inside track to replace Jacoby Brissett as the starter come Sept. 1 against William & Mary, completed 13 of 18 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown for the Red team.
Meyers was 12 of 20 for 117 yards and one touchdown and also ran for another score for the Red team.
You got to see their skill set. I think Jalan’s a little more comfortable right now in the pocket and Jakobi’s a really dangerous runner. Everybody got to see that.
Doeren was pleased with how both quarterbacks played.
“You got to see their skill set,” Doeren said. “I think Jalan’s a little more comfortable right now in the pocket and Jakobi’s a really dangerous runner. Everybody got to see that.”
The original plan was to split up the quarterbacks and have their teams compete against each other. McClendon, who was Brissett’s backup, was actually looking forward to that format.
“I love competition so I wouldn’t have mind playing against Jakobi,” McClendon said.
And Meyers, who redshirted last season and was slowed by a knee injury, was eager for a crack at McClendon.
“Definitely,” Meyers said. “But whatever coach says, that’s what we’ve got to do.”
Doeren said when they started to break into teams they quickly realized they wouldn’t have enough depth to play the game. As it was, star running backs Matt Dayes and Jaylen Samuels, who scored 28 touchdowns between them last season, didn’t play in the game. Neither did top receiver Jumichael Ramos or right guard Tony Adams.
McClendon didn’t have much trouble against the backups. He came out and completed his first five passes, including a 3-yard touchdown to receiver Maurice Trowell.
“(Jalan) came out hot and set the tone for all of us,” Meyers said. “Everybody wanted to match him.”
McClendon played the entire first quarter for the Red and led the offense to a pair of scoring drives.
Redshirt freshman running back Johnny Frasier was the star of the second quarter with a pair of touchdown runs. Frasier broke three tackles on a 32-yard score.
“It just reminds me of high school and the fun and enjoyment,” said Frasier, who was one of the top recruits in the state out of Princeton in 2014.
Meyers had his turn in the second quarter with a 14-yard touchdown run on a bootleg. He added a 15-yard touchdown pass to tight end Clark Eyers late in the fourth quarter.
Meyers said he was a little nervous playing in Carter-Finley Stadium.
“I definitely could have done better,” Meyers said. “I had a lot of fun but I still have to work on a lot of things.”
N.C. State’s first-team offense, under new coordinator Eli Drinkwitz, finished with 444 total yards on 83 plays. Frasier finished with 62 rushing yards on 15 carries and Nyheim Hines led all rushers with 72 yards on nine carries.
Trowell led the Red with six catches for 37 yards while receiver Stephen Louis, who redshirted last season, caught five passes for 64 yards.
The offense will look quite different once Dayes and Samuels are back in the fold. For one day, though, Doeren was pleased to see what some different players could do.
“It’s just getting them all in there together,” Doeren said.