NC State 48 Central Michigan 14

Pete Thomas threw his first touchdown pass as an NC State quarterback and the Wolfpack looked as sharp as anyone could hope in route to a 48-14 win over Central Michigan on a gorgeous fall afternoon in Carter-Finley Stadium. Coach Doeren’s staff clearly saw something in in the Chippewa defense that the Pack wanted to exploit as State racked up 239 rushing yards (4.6 yards per carry), with a large portion of rushes called on wide sweeps that utilized wide receivers more than usual. For example, Bryan Underwood ran three jet sweeps while Rashard Smith rushed the ball five times. All told, State ran the ball on almost 3 of every 4 plays for scrimmage.

Defensively, State was without defensive ends Darryl Cato-Bishop and Forrest West, but Robert Caldwell continued his stellar play and once again led the Pack with tackles. D.J. Green set the tone for the day when he intercepted a MCU pass on the Chippewas first possession and returned it 37 yards for the first score of the day.


While the News & Observer and Fayetteville Observer both highlighted Shadrach Thornton’s growing role, Backing the Pack took a broader approach and highlighted the roles of the ‘primary ball touchers’ on Saturday.

For the game, CMU gained just 259 yards on 64 plays, an average of just over four yards per play. In 72 plays, the Pack ran up 483 yards, a 6.7 per play average. But a truer representation of N.C. State’s dominance is evident in the first half stats. The Pack put up 285 yards (8.1 per play) before intermission compared to 94 (2.7) for CMU.

Walking with one of his sons on the way to a team dinner at Vaughn Towers on Friday, N.C. State football coach Dave Doeren addressed running back Shadrach Thornton.

When you walk over coals to get what you want, Doeren told Thornton, it means a lot more to you.

Doeren offered two more words.

Show me.

Thornton, who was suspended for the Wolfpack’s season opener because of a June arrest on a misdemeanor assault charge, has seen his role gradually increase. After appearing only on special teams against Richmond and capitalizing on his only two offensive touches against Clemson, he rushed 13 times for 71 yards as N.C. State’s primary ball carrier in a 48-14 win against Central Michigan on Saturday.

Doeren’s message a day earlier about overcoming adversity and gaining strength from it resonated with Thornton.

“I’m a firm believer in perseverance,” Thornton said. “It’ll make you a better person. If you go through a lot, go through so much to get what you really want, once you’ve got it, it means a lot. It’s a blessing to be here.”

Shadrach Thornton got a second chance from N.C. State coach Dave Doeren. The sophomore running back made sure he made the most of it in Saturday’s 48-14 win over Central Michigan.

Thornton ran for 71 yards and scored a 29-yard touchdown, his second in as many weeks, since returning from a one-game suspension.

Thornton was grateful for a bigger role in the Wolfpack’s offense on Saturday.


Doeren said earlier this week that Thornton had to earn a bigger role in the offense. That’s fine with Thornton, who ran for 694 yards last season.

“Really, I’m just here to do what they need me to do,” Thornton said. “They told me that my role would increase as the weeks progressed and I continue to get better.”


NC State will play its first game of the season outside of Carter-Finley this coming Saturday when the Wolfpack travel to Winston-Salem and take on Wake Forest in the house of horrors that has become BB&T Field. Kickoff is set for 3:30pm.

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71 Responses to NC State 48 Central Michigan 14

  1. LifeLongWolf 09/29/2013 at 9:02 AM #

    One of the things we used to do was play down to our opponent’s level. Good to see that we didn’t do that yesterday.

  2. Wulfpack 09/29/2013 at 9:09 AM #

    We did do that against Richmond. Hope we don’t next week at Wake. This is an awful Deacon team and a loss would be very hard to shake. Anyone that follows Pack football knows we never play well at Wake.

  3. cameronoverrated 09/29/2013 at 9:23 AM #

    ERRRRRRRRR!!!!! what a beautiful morning, not a puke blue flag in sight

  4. BJD95 09/29/2013 at 9:44 AM #

    That had more to do with Richmond than us. The Spiders were significantly better than La Tech and CMU, who are probably among the 5 worst teams in D1-A.

  5. wolfpackdawg 09/29/2013 at 10:04 AM #

    No way we lose to Wake. This staff will have the boys ready unlike previous staffs.

  6. JohnGalt78 09/29/2013 at 10:06 AM #

    From the N&O this morning, a nice piece on Thornton. Quoting him…”“When you get your spot back, man, it means a lot more to you,” Thornton said. “You don’t take nothing for granted. You run every down as if it’s your last because you never know.”

    Nice to see this kid respond and learn from his mistakes under the guidance of DD. Good result from a bad situation. Other institutions handle their mess differently.

  7. Wufpacker 09/29/2013 at 10:10 AM #

    “That had more to do with Richmond than us. The Spiders were significantly better than La Tech and CMU, who are probably among the 5 worst teams in D1-A.”

    But at least they are D1-A.

    The march toward bowl eligibility continues.

    3 down, 3 to go.

    Agreed Richmond played us strong.

  8. Alpha Wolf 09/29/2013 at 10:13 AM #

    Added a picture of the Pick 6 I took from the stands. It was a completely relaxed game with only a possible being the only drama of the day.

  9. Wufpacker 09/29/2013 at 10:19 AM #

    Awesome shot Alpha.
    What kind of camera do you use?

  10. Alpha Wolf 09/29/2013 at 10:22 AM #

    A Nikon D2X with a 70mm Nikkor zoom lens. That shot is a crop, but it worked out pretty well from sitting in Section 2.

  11. graywolf 09/29/2013 at 10:31 AM #

    “3 down, 3 to go.”

    Correct me if I am wrong but I was under the impression that you could only use one victory against D1-A towards a bowl birth. If so its 2 down and 4 to go.

  12. bigdudenc 09/29/2013 at 10:35 AM #

    I’m guessing it was a MAC ref crew yesterday. They did a good job of keeping their flags and whistles in their pocket, unless it was definitely needed. I am always more aware of how keystone copish ACC crews are after watching other conference crews.

  13. Alpha Wolf 09/29/2013 at 10:44 AM #

    ^ That and there weren’t three or four vanity replays.

  14. Wufpacker 09/29/2013 at 10:56 AM #


    I’m currently “equipment-challenged” (don’t ask) but am comparative shopping for a long zoom to kinda do everything. Was going to go DSLR, and still might, but I’m liking the all in one thing. I’m lazy.

    Nikon rules. P520 is leading candidate for purchase currently.

  15. Wufpacker 09/29/2013 at 11:03 AM #

    BJD and I are tossing outdated terms around, which confuses the issue.

    D1-A and D1-AA are now FBS and FCS respectively.

    FBS are the big boys like us, FCS are the smaller schools (Richmond) who actually do a tourney and award an NCAA championship (vs a BCS Championship as we know it in FBS)

    But yes, only one FCS win can count toward bowl eligibility for a FBS team. Only one of our wins currently is vs FCS…thus…3 to go.

  16. Alpha Wolf 09/29/2013 at 11:27 AM #

    Central Michigan was a bowl team last year IIRC.

    I have to say, I enjoyed being around their fans. Good, solid midwesterners and they came with no pretense, unlike some of the tOSU fans I see around town every day. That latter group thinks their loaves don’t stink up the bathroom.

  17. packalum44 09/29/2013 at 11:59 AM #

    We were 3 TD favorites against Richmond.We haven’t lost to a D2 teams since the 70s. During Amato’s worst years we beat App State (best in D2) by several scores. The games were never in doubt. We certainly played poorly against Richmond and should not have made it that close. The talent discrepancy between us and Richmond is greater than us and Clemson/Florida State. All teams have those games though. It is a small anti-NC State shi^ miracle we actually won.

    With that said we overachieved the other 3 games, beating the spread each time. That is an objective measure of achievement. TOB’s teams played like puss***s on the road. Hopefully DD can buck a ridiculous trend that should never have been.

  18. BJD95 09/29/2013 at 12:35 PM #

    Richmond is the only 1-AA team we play.

    Central Michigan lost a TON of guys from last year’s decent team, and are injured to boot. For comparison, Michigan got VERY lucky to beat both Akron and winless UConn. They beat CMU by like 50.

    Richmond’s no joke, and we fought like hell to avoid the fate of K State and Oregon State.

    Wake is putrid. But it’s a road game, and it would be folly for us to take ANY road win for granted.

  19. Greywolf 09/29/2013 at 12:43 PM #

    What I see as important regarding the 2013 Wolfpack is those guys can play some defense. We as fans have every right to feel good about the future NOW! Defense can keep you in games when all else is going to hell in a hand-basket.

    The true significance in the Richmond game is not the spread or talent differential or any of that. What to note is the Spiders didn’t crack the scoreboard in the second half. Our defense shut them down, thus enabling the Pack to comeback on a day when the offense couldn’t seem to get it together. One game or one half doesn’t a season make.

    Shoulda, woulda, coulda… What we should’ve done vs. Richmond is really irrelevant. What is relevant is that we pulled a game out we easily could have blown. Thank you defense.

    A lot of people laughed and made ridiculing comments earlier when a few of us foretold of the potential of this defense. This defense is built on a solid DL. Our LBs are playing up to their potential. our MLB is solidly backed up. Our OLBs the same. The DB’s are still thin but the talented freshmen will not be freshmen in a few more games. Back-up safety, Josh Stanley, got a very nice pic while relieving Jarvis Byrd. (Jarvis, please get healed and back in the line-up.)

    One thing I’ve noticed about our coaches is they have no hesitation to move players around. Our best players are going to be on the field. When SRs graduate their replacements may not be their current back-ups.

    With wins over U of R (FCS), La Tech (FBS) and CMU (FBS), we’re moving on schedule to bowl eligibility.

  20. El Scrotcho 09/29/2013 at 12:44 PM #

    I’m doing State a favor and skipping the Wake game next week even though I’m 5 minutes from the stadium. The team is 0-4 with me in attendance for games at Wake.

    So – you’re welcome.

  21. cWOhLFrPAiCKs 09/29/2013 at 12:52 PM #

    I was at the game with a friend yesterday who was dismayed by the disproportionate amount of running we were doing. Frankly, I don’t care how this staff does it, I just like seeing a well-prepared, pretty disciplined team that plays their butts off every single down. And the fact that this is still year one for DD and staff makes it that much sweeter.

    I have a feeling this team will get the Wake-on-the-road monkey off its back next week.

  22. BJD95 09/29/2013 at 12:52 PM #

    Good on ya, ES.

    The LB play has been a revelation. But I caution that we have been very fortunate (knocks on wood) injury-wise. We don’t want to get too far into the depth chart anywhere other than the DL.

    I do think we can get bowl eligible, which I thought was a pipe dream. HUGE kudos to DD and staff.

  23. Greywolf 09/29/2013 at 12:53 PM #

    @El Scrotcho

    IMNSHO TOB being at the games had more to do with the outcome than your being there. 😉

    If a particular fan attending has anything to do with a team’s winning or losing, I want to thank that fan who was at Kenan yesterday. God bless you sir.

  24. BJD95 09/29/2013 at 1:13 PM #

    Unfortunately, TB isn’t blocking for Glennon any better than we did last year.

  25. BJD95 09/29/2013 at 1:15 PM #

    Hauschka drills a 48 yarder. He and Blair Walsh are the best in the league, by far.

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