Today marked the first appearance of the season for team captain J.R. Sweezy, who had been sitting out with a broken foot suffered in preseason practice. Sweezy, who played end today instead of his normal tackle spot, ended the game with two tackles and a sack.
Adding To The Injured List
As if the list of injured Wolfpack players wasn’t enough, starting punter Wil Baumann suffered a groin strain during pregame warmups and was unable to punt today (he did see action as the holder on placekicks).
Taylor Gentry, the Pack’s starting fullback and leading special teams tackler who also saw action at defensive tackle today, did not return in the second half due to an ankle injury.
And Darryl Cato-Bishop, a regular starter at defensive tackle who started today’s game at defensive end, went out with a hand injury in the third quarter.
The Pack entered today’s game with four defensive linemen out with injuries (a fifth, J.R. Sweezy, was listed as questionable heading into the contest, but ended up seeing action).
J. Ellis Flint, who filled in as punter in place of Baumann, had three punts for a 35.3 average.
Tyler Purvis, who filled in for Gentry at fullback, caught the first two scores of his career, including the first career touchdown strike thrown by Tyler Brosius.
Gentry is Three-Way Player
Senior fullback Taylor Gentry saw action in all aspects of today’s game, playing on offense, defense and special teams. The Pack’s leading tackler on special teams heading into the game, he had a four-yard catch in the first half and one tackle, but injured an ankle and did not come back in the second half.
Gentry is the third Wolfpack player to play on both sides of the ball this season - the others were Rashard Smith (cornerback and wide receiver) and Jacob Kahut (offensive line and defensive line).
Washington Posts Career High
James Washington picked up 131 yards on the ground and a score via 20 carries, setting a new career high as well as a team best for the season. It’s the second 100-plus yard effort by a Wolfpack running back this season, after Curtis Underwood put up 114 against Liberty.
Washington’s total for the day is the most for a running back since Jamelle Eugene posted 149 vs. North Carolina in 2007.
Ground Game Turns Around
NC State put up a season-high 195 yards on the ground today, rebounding nicely from a -26-yard performance in it’s last outing at Cincinnati.
Another Defensive Score
Brandan Bishop scooped up a fumble late in the fourth quarter and took it into the endzone for the Pack’s second fumble return for a score this season. Brian Slay returned a fumble for a score against Liberty.
In the second quarter of today’s game, the Wolfpack offense had a 19-play, 81 yard drive that ate up 9:45 on the clock. That was the longest drive in terms of plays since Nov. 14, 2000, when freshman quarterback Philip Rivers led State on a 19-play, 94-yard drive versus Maryland. The difference in the two plays is that today’s did not end in a score, as the Pack was stopped on fourth down.