RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Ryan Finley threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns to help North Carolina State beat Wake Forest 33-16 on Saturday in its Atlantic Coast Conference opener.
Matt Dayes ran for 125 yards and a score for the Wolfpack (3-1), who won a league opener for the first time under fourth-year coach Dave Doeren.
Dayes’ rushing TD was part of four straight scoring drives to open the game by the Wolfpack, who led 17-0 after the first quarter and 23-3 early in the second.
John Wolford threw for 263 yards and a touchdown for the Demon Deacons (4-1, 1-1), who got as close as 26-16 but never recovered after falling behind early.
Wake Forest was going for its first 5-0 start since 2006, which was also the last time it won in Raleigh.
WAKE FOREST: The Demon Deacons’ defense can keep them in games, but there are days when the offense has to work awfully hard for its production and struggles to dig out of holes. Wake Forest doesn’t have much margin for error, especially in a game like this when it fell behind early and Wolford faced steady pressure.
N.C. STATE: Does N.C. State have a penalty problem or was this one bad outing? Flagged for things like unnecessary roughness and chop blocks, the Wolfpack finished with season-highs of 13 penalties and 144 penalty yards – the kind of things that can’t happen as N.C. State pushes deeper into ACC play in pursuit of a bowl bid.
WAKE FOREST: The Demon Deacons stay in division play by hosting Syracuse, who has won four straight meetings dating to the 2011 season.
N.C. STATE: N.C. State hosts Notre Dame in the second meeting between the schools, the other one coming in the Gator Bowl to end the 2002 season.