RALEIGH NC - SEPTEMBER 16: Justin Byers #28 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack celebrates after a play against the Cincinnati Bearcats during their game at Carter-Finley Stadium on September 16 2010 in Raleigh North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Last night's win was a mundane affair, in a very good way, because there were no major disappointments. After sputtering on its first drive, NC State's offense put together back-to-back 93-yard touchdown drives. Russell Wilson appeared much more like himself. Cincinnati's offensive line was as messy as advertised and they struggled to find any sort of consistency. There was some tension in the stadium after Jarvis Williams's bizarre tip-grab-fumble play deprived the Pack of a 21-0 lead. Cincinnati finally broke through late in the 2nd quarter to cut the lead in half, but State's offense answered too quickly for anyone to start entertaining serious worry.
In general, it was about as stress-free as one could hope. The illegal shift and illegal formation penalties were annoying, there were too many fumbles and too many squandered scoring opportunities in the first half. All of those issues were made minor irritations by a Wolfpack defense that kept the Bearcats bottled up.
A pair of quick garbage time scores were the only things that made the game look relatively close.
Cincinnati offense, first 3 quarters: 48 plays 198 yards, 4.1 yards per play, 7 points
Cincinnati offense, fourth quarter: 15 plays, 182 yards, 12.1 yards per play, 12 points
I have no idea why Butch Jones went for two on either of those fourth-quarter touchdowns, but that's neither here nor there.
It's never good when a DB has his hands up like, "I thought you had him."
No two point conversion for you.
If Tom O'Brien has time to talk about something other than football during his post-game press conference, namely how the stands were empty at the start of the second half, then I figure things have gone reasonably well.
I don't have an issue with that, being the regular, blatant pass out offender that I am. But I do have a bone to pick with the students who left early. Back in my day, we stayed until the very end, even when Jay Davis was the quarterback, even when it was a Thursday night and we had 8 AM classes the next day, even when we'd managed 150 total yards and were down two scores and TA McLendon had performed his patented vomit-fumble-injury trifecta (not necessarily in that order) and everything was hopeless, utterly, utterly hopeless. By golly, we reveled in the indignity of it all. You kids have a lot to learn.
(Kidding, of course. Great job, students.)