Wolfpack cruises past Jags

Published 9:37 pm Saturday, September 17, 2011

RALEIGH — Mike Glennon threw a career-high four touchdown passes in North Carolina State’s 35-13 victory over South Alabama on Saturday night.
Glennon was 17 of 20 for 274 yards with scoring passes of 1 and 5 yards to Taylor Gentry, 18 yards to Curtis Underwood and 67 yards to T.J. Graham. They helped the Wolfpack (2-1) bounce back from their first loss and hand the Jaguars (2-1) the first defeat in program history.
James Washington added a 1-yard touchdown run for N.C. State, which faces a short turnaround with a trip to Cincinnati on Thursday night.
Demetre Baker had an 8-yard scoring run and Jordan Means kicked two field goals, including a school-record 46-yarder, for the Jaguars.
South Alabama started its program in 2009, won its first 19 games and hung with its first Bowl Subdivision opponent for much of the way.
The game ultimately was little more than an exhibition tuneup for N.C. State. Teams may count only one victory over Championship Subdivision teams each season toward the six necessary for bowl eligibility, and the Wolfpack already beat Liberty of the FCS in Week 1.
South Alabama made things interesting shortly after N.C. State took a 21-3 lead early in the third quarter. Baker pulled the Jaguars to 21-10 with his touchdown run midway through the quarter, and Glennon fumbled the Wolfpack’s next snap at their own 39.
But South Alabama’s drive stalled at the 27, and Means’ 44-yard field goal was wide left. Glennon led N.C. State downfield, converting a fourth-and-5 two plays before his catch-and-run touchdown pass to Underwood with 1:14 left in the third made it 28-10.
Glennon’s long strike to Graham over the middle pushed the lead to 35-13 with 4:03 left. Graham finished with 128 yards receiving on five catches.
C.J. Bennett finished 17 of 32 for 182 yards with two interceptions and Kendall Houston rushed for 117 yards for South Alabama, which is taking the fast track to the Bowl Subdivision. The Jaguars are scheduled to become FBS members in 2013, will play host to N.C. State two years later in Mobile and are scheduled to return to Raleigh in 2012.
Brandan Bishop set up Glennon’s second touchdown pass to Gentry when he intercepted a pass — N.C. State’s seventh pick of the season — and returned it to the South Alabama 29. Glennon’s scoring strike six plays later made it 21-3 with not even 5 minutes gone in the third.
The two hooked up earlier for N.C. State’s second touchdown, which made it 14-3 barely 3 minutes into the second quarter.
Washington put N.C. State up roughly 4 minutes into this one when he capped a nine-play, 54-yard drive with his short touchdown run. But the Jaguars wouldn’t let the Wolfpack pull away, with Means making it 7-3 late in the first quarter with his record kick.