NC State Locker room notebook

The First Time Is The Sweetest
Last week, wide out Rashard Smith scored his first touchdown, when he hauled in a 33-yard pass against South Alabama. He had a flashback tonight when he returned a punt 73 yards in the second quarter.
"It was like I was scoring for the first time again," he said. "I always have to make the first man miss, then there's a good chance for a good return. I made the first miss and the punt return team did a great job blocking.

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"When it turned into a touchdown, we were all happy, we all scored."
Hook. Line. Sinker
Star cornerback David Amerson has been dubbed the, "pickoff artist," by NC State media relations, and sometimes his interceptions really are a work or art. That was the case tonight, when he tied the school record with his 16th career pick.
Amerson baited the quarterback into throwing to his receiver, and he knew he had the record interception, his third of the year.
"I kind of let him get a little ahead of me, so the quarterback would throw the ball," he said. "I caught up and made the play."
It was an impressive theft by the junior, and he knew he would have to go over or undercut the receiver to get the ball. He chose the first option and said he reminded him a little of his first pick in the Belk Bowl victory over Louisville.
He's On Fire
Coach Tom O'Brien mentioned after the game that the Pack went with true freshman running back Shadrach Thornton because he was the only healthy back that practiced all week. The rookie from Georgia did not disappoint, but none of his teammates or coaches were surprised.
"By the fourth scrimmage, we could see that he could play football," O'Brien noted before adding that Thronton would be a part of the ball carrier rotation going forward.
Quarterback Mike Glennon said Thornton showed he was capable of contributing in fall camp, while center Camden Wentz said the offensive line was so intrigued by the rookie that they wanted to block for him.
"He's someone that's eager to learn," Glennon said. "I think when he first heard he was probably redshirting, I told him he just needs to be patient. Sometimes that's the best thing for him, but you could tell he wanted to be out there playing with us, and he finally got his opportunity today. He made the most of it. I think he's someone who can provide a spark to our offense, and for his first start ever, it's pretty impressive.
"He's a student of the game. When I would go to the film room by myself during camp, he was beating me to it. He would get up there right away, watch and try to learn. This week, he approached it really well. He knew his opportunity, he was always asking questions and he answered all of them today."
Mike Glennon: Goal-Line Back
Glennon finished today with minus-eight yards rushing on six attempts, but he also tallied two touchdowns on the ground. The 6-foot-6 signal caller isn't the most fleet of foot player on the team, but he found paydirt when it mattered today. He laughed when he was asked about being the team's new red zone threat on the ground.
"I wasn't expecting that," he said. "It was just something that expressed itself and I took the run when it was there.
"I don't think that [rushing for two touchdowns] will be happening too often."