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Ricky Person helps NC State run away from USF, 45-0

NC State is 1-0 in 2021.

NCAA Football: South Florida at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

NC State was dominant in its home opener on Thursday night, putting away the South Florida Bulls, 45-0. I don’t think you could ask for a better first game, or for a more dominant affirmation of what we’ve hoped this team can be.

There was a point Thursday where Cade Fortin had negative passing yards: he was so bad that he was replaced in the first half, just in the blind theory that USF might find a spark.

NC State’s defense was dominant. That unit was the story of this game, no question. Those guys played with a lot of confidence and they buried the Bulls methodically, down by down. It was fun to watch.

NC State’s offense was not quite on point but it was still good, and Ricky Person had a career night. The Pack took a run-first approach to this game and Person was the star, and then after that, USF had to deal with Bam Knight.

In the end, NC State ran for 293 yards. There are things that State can fix—needs to fix—but this was a tidy bit of work. There weren’t many penalties, and NC State destroyed USF’s will to live in the second half.

Sure, Devin Leary could have put this one away sooner with some better throws in the first half, but he’s going to have some rust, and also when it’s 45-0, that’s fine. That’s more than fine.

I figure if we’re picking nits on a 45-0 win, that’s good.