Wolfpack continues to roll|Wilson throws for 328 yards and three TDs in win

Published 9:58 pm Sunday, October 10, 2010

By By AARON BEARD, AP Sports Writer
RALEIGH — North Carolina State proved it can both shake off a disappointing loss and finally beat Tom O’Brien’s former program.
Russell Wilson threw for 328 yards and three touchdowns to help the Wolfpack beat Boston College 44-17 on Saturday, giving O’Brien his first win against the team he led for a decade.
Owen Spencer, Darrell Davis and Jarvis Williams had TD catches for the Wolfpack (5-1, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who also got touchdowns from the defense and special teams to dominate the Eagles (2-3, 0-2). It was the first time the Wolfpack had scored touchdowns in all three phases since a win against Texas Tech six years ago, and allowed the program to match its win total for all of last season.
Quite a way to regroup from last week’s home loss to Virginia Tech, which was the kind of morale-crunching defeat that can hang over a team for weeks.
‘‘I think we’re tired, we’re heavy-legged,’’ O’Brien said. ‘‘I think mentally, though, this team is learning how to gut it out and fight through some things and make some things work even if it’s not our fastest day.’’
Last week, the Wolfpack — carrying the program’s first national ranking in seven years — led Virginia Tech 17-0 at home before the Hokies rallied for a 41-30 win that drained some of the buzz that had built around Carter-Finley Stadium. But winning in such dominating fashion probably restored any shaken confidence for a team hoping to stay in contention in the ACC’s Atlantic Division.
‘‘You definitely think about (the Virginia Tech loss),’’ Wilson said. ‘‘You don’t want to have that feeling ever again. It’s something you put in the back of your mind, but at the same time you let it go and keep working and trying to get better.
‘‘More than anything, it’s all mental. You have to keep pushing and keep realizing that this is a division game, an ACC game, and that matters.’’
Since O’Brien took over here before the 2007 season, Boston College had won all three meetings and scored at least 37 points each time, including a 52-20 rout last season in which Montel Harris set school records with 264 yards rushing and five touchdowns. This year, Harris ran for 53 yards on 14 carries as the Eagles managed just 272 yards — with 67 of those coming on a meaningless touchdown pass with about 6 minutes left.
D.J. Green got N.C. State going by recovering a blocked punt in the end zone for a first-quarter touchdown, while C.J. Wilson returned an interception for a score in the third.
‘‘We’re still a work in progress,’’ O’Brien said. ‘‘We can get better and we have to get better if we’re going to continue to win.’’
Wilson threw two interceptions, one coming when a ball deflected off the hands of tight end George Bryan and the other when he overthrew a pass downfield to an open receiver. But the rest of the time, he had his way with the Eagles, completing 38 of 51 passes while also running for 45 yards.
‘‘He’s an all-ACC quarterback,’’ BC coach Frank Spaziani said. ‘‘He understands the system he’s in. When you have a very accomplished football player at quarterback, you have a very good asset.’’
After Green’s TD recovery, Wilson pump-faked then threw a perfect pass over the middle to Spencer for a 23-yard touchdown that made it 17-3 early in the second quarter. Two possessions later, Wilson found Davis for a 5-yard score on the left side to push that margin to 24-3 midway through the quarter.
Wilson found Williams for a 6-yard score early in the fourth, with the receiver pushing through a tackle and stretching the ball over the pylon to make it 41-10 with 13 1/2 minutes left.
Boston College had no such offensive success. With freshman Chase Rettig out with an ankle injury, Spaziani went with Dave Shinskie — who had already been benched once this season — as the starting quarterback. Shinskie struggled all day, completing just 7 of 24 passes for 89 yards with two interceptions. The last was a badly overthrown ball that landed right in Wilson’s hands for an easy TD return, prompting Spaziani to pull Shinskie for sophomore Mike Marscovetra.
‘‘Every position will be evaluated,’’ Spaziani said. ‘‘We’ve had to start at Square One and move forward.’’