NC State needed a tailback to emerge with Mustafa Greene sidelined indefinitely with a foot injury, and junior James Washington has done just that.
Washington rushed for 109 yards against Central Michigan, his second-straight 100-yard rushing game, becoming the first Pack back to rush for 100 or more yards in consecutive games since Andre Brown did it against Southern Miss and Florida State in 2005.
"The [offensive line] was firing out, opening up some holes and seams,' said Washington. "We got another 100-yard rusher this week and we just plan on doing it again in the next game."
Washington impressed his head coach with his play.
"[James Washington] has got to be the guy for us," said O'Brien. "We continue to work at it and continue to pound at it, we're going to have success to play offense and help our defense as they get healthy and get back."
Washington could have had even more yards but NC State seemed to go away from the run early in the second half. However, don't expect that to continue because O'Brien believes the Pack has to run the football to be successful on offense.
"We got away from [the run] a little bit in the third quarter and started throwing the ball again," he said. "We should have just kept running the ball. It's something that we have to do, it helps us. We probably out-timed them, which is good, and we ended up with more plays. If you can run the football it will make our passing game more effective."
As for Washington, he has a personal goal in mind and has let the guys blocking for him know about it.
"I actually made a deal with [the offensive line], since we haven't had a 1,000-yard rusher in forever, I said if they can get me to the 1,000-yard mark I'll take them out to eat, anything on me. That's a lot of money but I'm willing to pay it. They want all you can eat."