RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Backup quarterback Jalan McClendon rushed for two touchdowns and threw for a third, and North Carolina State beat Old Dominion 49-22 on Saturday night.
Starter Ryan Finley was 24 of 28 for 281 yards with three touchdown passes – two to Jaylen Samuels – to help the Wolfpack (2-1) bounce back from a dispiriting loss at East Carolina .
Finley, a graduate transfer from Boise State, beat out McClendon during preseason camp, and in his first two starts, N.C. State averaged 511 total yards and 39 points.
The Wolfpack gained 470 yards in this one – and might have found another weapon, with coach Dave Doeren bringing McClendon for some goal-line situations.
McClendon produced touchdowns on each of his first three snaps: He scored on runs of 1 and 3 yards to help N.C. State take a 14-3 lead, then hit Thaddeus Moss – the son of former NFL receiver Randy Moss – with a 3-yard scoring pass.
David Washington threw two touchdown passes to Zach Pascal and Jeremy Cox had a 65-yard touchdown run for Old Dominion (1-2), which has lost two straight.
Old Dominion: Since the program launched in 2009, the Monarchs have yet to beat a power-conference team. This was their third loss to N.C. State in three seasons, their sixth loss to an Atlantic Coast Conference school since 2013, and they’ve yet to hold the Wolfpack to fewer than 38 points. Their next crack at the ACC comes next September when North Carolina visits. One problem: They didn’t get much from RB Ray Lawry, who carried nine times for just 14 yards – well shy of his third straight 100-yard effort.
N.C. State: For much of the night, this didn’t look a whole lot like the same N.C. State defense that gave up 445 total yards and 33 points to East Carolina. The final numbers might not look that way, but this effort was better. The Wolfpack allowed 321 total yards, but much of that came in three chunks: A 91-yard touchdown drive in the third quarter prolonged by a fake punt in ODU territory, and two other scoring drives after the Wolfpack already had the victory well in hand.
Old Dominion: The Monarchs begin Conference USA play next week with a visit from a Texas-San Antonio team that probably should have held on to beat Arizona State on Friday night.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack have a week off before instate rival Wake Forest visits Oct. 1 to wrap up their manageable early season schedule.