Quick hits and notes from NC State's 44-17 rout of Boston College at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh Saturday afternoon in front of 56,859 sun-soaked Wolfpack fans.
Gameplan: Pass the ball
Boston College's defense ranks second in the ACC in fewest rushing yards allowed at 81.5 per contest, and the Wolfpack must have decided this week they were not going to do much running the football against that defense. So the Pack threw 56 pass attempts Saturday compared to just 28 rushes. That is the first time this year State ran the ball less than 30 times in one game, and most of those rushes came when redshirt junior quarterback Russell Wilson scrambled for yardage.
Wilson completed 38 of 51 passes for 328 yards and three touchdowns along with a pair of interceptions. He tied Philip Rivers' single game completions record, and the 51 pass attempts were the 10th most in a game. The last time a quarterback completed at least 30 passes on a Boston College defense was Maryland's Chris Turner in 2008.
Wilson has thrown for over 300 yards in five of State's six games, giving him nine career games over 300, second most to Rivers' 19. This was the 12th time in Wilson's career he threw at least three touchdowns in a game, fifth time this season he has done that and 11th time in the last 17 games.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Mike Glennon finished the rout off Saturday and completed 3 of 4 passes for 19 yards. As a team, State completed 41 of 56 passes for 73.2 percent, a new school record for both pass completions and completion percentage. The accuracy rate would have been higher had Wilson not spiked the ball to stop the clock late in the first half.
One of Wilson's three touchdown passes went to senior Owen Spencer, who set a new career-high with eight catches. That was Spencer's first touchdown catch of the season, and he is the 10th Wolfpack player to have a scoring reception this year. Spencer had 70 receiving yards on the afternoon to move up to fifth-place in school history in receiving yards with 1,955.
All around scoring
NC State had its second special teams and second defensive touchdowns of the season in this game. Redshirt sophomore cornerback C.J. Wilson returned an interception 28 yards for a pick six. That was Wilson's second interception return for a touchdown this season, making him the first Wolfpack player to score twice on a pick return since Greg Williams in 1966.
NC State freshman safety D.J. Green also recovered a block punt in the end zone for a score. Classmate Dontae Johnson was credited with the blocked punt, although evidence suggested that redshirt sophomore linebacker Colby Jackson had the block. The last time State had at least two touchdowns on blocked punts was 2004. The last time Boston College had allowed a blocked punt for a touchdown was 2003 against Notre Dame. They had not had a punt blocked since 2006.
The last time State scored on offense, defense and special teams in one game was 2003 against Texas Tech.
Another true freshman starter
Johnson became the third true freshman to start a game this year. He started at safety in place of sophomore Brandan Bishop. Johnson finished four tackles, one of them solo, and a pass breakup. He joined classmate David Amerson, a cornerback, in the starting defensive backfield. Amerson had a team-high seven tackles, all of them solo hits. Ironically Bishop came off the bench and had two interceptions.
The secondary helped hold Boston College's quarterbacks to 11-of-32 passing for 173 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.
What the win means
NC State snaps its three-game losing streak to Boston College and improves to 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the ACC. Boston College falls to 2-3 and 0-2 in conference action. Boston College is on its first three-game losing streak since 1998.
Spotted at the game
Bowl officials from the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte and the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando were at the game, as was a scout from the Washington Redskins. ACC commissioner John Swofford was in the press box, and had a lengthy conversation at one point with former NC State head coach Chuck Amato, who was at his second straight game at Carter-Finley Stadium.
In terms of recruits, senior receiver Stanton Seckinger from Porter Gaud School in Charleston, S.C., made the trip. Also there among the 2011 class were NC State commitments Brian Taylor, a quarterback from Harnett Central High in Angier, N.C., athlete Maurice Morgan from North Lenoir High in La Grange, N.C., and punter Wil Baumann from Hoggard High in Wilmington, N.C.