NC State cruises to 45-0 rout of South Florida
Zonovan Knight rushed 16 times for 163 yards and a touchdown, leading North Carolina State to a 45-0 win over the South Florida in a nonconference game Thursday in Raleigh, N.C.
The Wolfpack finished with a 525-271 edge in total yards, sending the Bulls to their ninth straight loss since they won their 2020 opener.
NC State’s defense did its part, getting interceptions from Drake Thomas, Cyrus Fagan and Tanner Ingle.
Ricky Person Jr., NC State’s other big-time running back, gained 148 yards from scrimmage. He rushed 16 times for 105 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught three passes for 43 yards and one score.
This was the first time since 2015 that NC State had two 100-yard rushers in the same game.
It was the season opener for both teams, but only the Wolfpack looked sharp. NC State quarterback Devin Leary completed 17 of 26 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns. He was intercepted once.
Leary’s favorite target was Emeka Emezie, who caught five passes for 71 yards.
Meanwhile, USF quarterback Cade Fortin was benched after five drives. The Bulls got just one first down on those drives — on a run by Darrian Felix.
The Bulls went to true freshman Timmy McClain … and then back to Fortin after a pair of interceptions.
Fortin’s final stats: 7 of 20 for 41 yards with one interception. McClain completed 7 of 13 passes for 126 yards with two interceptions.
NC State led 10-0 after the first quarter and 24-0 at the half. The first half included Leary’s 33-yard TD pass to Person, Christopher Dunn’s 34-yard field goal and a pair of 11-yard running scores by Person.
The Wolfpack stretched their lead to 38-0 after three quarters. Knight ran 46 yards to the end zone, and Leary hit Christopher Toudle right between the numbers for a 7-yard score.
Jordan Houston, third on NC State’s running back depth chart, added a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
The Wolfpack defense preserved the shutout with a last-minute goal-line stand. On fourth-and-goal from the NC State 4, Fortin threw incomplete into the end zone.
–Field Level Media