RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Ryan Finley threw three touchdown passes and North Carolina State beat Marshall 37-20 on Saturday night.
Reggie Gallaspy added two scoring runs while Finley was 29 of 36 for 341 yards with scores covering 24 yards to Stephen Louis, 34 yards to Kelvin Harmon and 39 yards on a flea-flicker pass to Jaylen Samuels that jump-started a sputtering offense.
N.C. State (1-1), coming off a loss to South Carolina in the opener, twice fell behind by 10 points before responding with touchdowns on four straight possessions – including three in a row to end the first half – and scoring the game’s final 27 points.
The Wolfpack took the lead for good 16 seconds before halftime, when Finley dropped a pass over both double coverage and Harmon’s back shoulder for the touchdown that put them up 23-20. Harmon finished with nine catches for 121 yards – his second straight 100-yard game.
Marshall (1-1) went up 20-10 on Tyre Brady’s 75-yard catch-and-run from Chase Litton. Brady set a Carter-Finley Stadium record with 248 yards receiving while Litton finished 26 of 43 for 350 yards and a 1-yard TD to Willie Johnson.
Marshall: Brady looks like a natural as the Herd’s big-play threat. The Miami transfer’s last appearance in the North Carolina Triangle certainly was unforgettable – he was responsible for one of the eight laterals on the Hurricanes’ game-winning kickoff return at Duke two years ago – and he made history in this visit, too. He had more yards receiving in the first half of this game than he had in his college career.
N.C. State: The play everyone will remember from this one was the flea-flicker. Trailing by 10 points shortly before halftime, Finley handed off to Gallaspy, who then handed off to Jakobi Meyers. He pitched the ball back to Finley, and nobody was remotely close to Samuels down the right sideline for the touchdown that pulled the Wolfpack to 20-17.
Marshall: The Herd return home to play host to a former Mid-American Conference rival when they take on Kent State on Sept. 16.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack play host to Furman of the FCS on Sept. 16 in a breather before things get tough at Florida State the following week.