Ryan Finley continued his hot passing Saturday night, and N.C. State scored 27 unanswered points to come from behind and beat Marshall 37-20.
Marshall (1-1) got out to a fast start in Saturday’s game. Its quarterback, Chase Litton, found wide receiver Tyre Brady early and often. Brady caught six passes for 188 yards and one touchdown in the first half, including a 75-yard touchdown catch which put the Marshall up 20-10, with five minutes and 10 seconds left in the first half.
Brady’s 188 yards was more than he had for his entire career (166 yards) prior to Saturday’s game.
But the Wolfpack found a way to slow the Thundering Herd down. Brady’s second-quarter touchdown was Marshall’s final score of the game.
N.C. State (1-1) responded with a touchdown drive on the next possession. Finley threw a a 39-yard flea-flicker pass to Jaylen Samuels for a touchdown to bring the score within three points, 20-17. The Wolfpack then stopped Marshall on its next possession and scored again on a 7-play, 82-yard touchdown drive right before the half.
At halftime the Wolfpack led 23-20.
The Wolfpack added two more scores in the second half, both touchdown runs by Reggie Gallaspy.
N.C. State’s defense buckled down in the second half, making key stops when it needed it most. While Brady broke a record at Carter-Finley Stadium for most yards in a single game (248 yards), set by Jerricho Cotchery, no one else really got going for Marshall.
“It feels amazing because it’s definitely momentum going into the next game,” defensive end Bradley Chubb said of N.C. State’s second-half shutout. “We all came together and did what we were supposed to do.”
Chubb finished with seven tackles, three for a loss, and a sack.
“Sometimes we had guys try to do too much, try to make plays that the defense didn’t need to make,” he said. “Everybody just took a deep breath, and we all did our job and whatever we needed to do.”
Finley, who passed for 415 yards in a 35-28 loss against South Carolina last week, followed up his performance with 341 yards and three touchdowns on Saturday.
He completed 29 of 36 passes.
“I told the team this in our pregame talk today: I think we can be as good as we want to be,” N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said. “I think as long as we stay out of own way, the ceiling is very high.”
“We just can’t be a team that beats ourselves.”