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NC State piles up the rushing yardage in 41-0 blowout of Western Carolina

The Catamounts were no challenge whatsoever.

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

You wouldn’t know it just by looking at the score or the stats, but NC State came out sluggish and listless to begin the game against Western Carolina. The Wolfpack managed only three points over the first 15 minutes ... and then the rest happened.

State worked through its early-game hiccups on offense and settled on simply running right over Western Carolina, which was plainly over-matched. The Wolfpack finished the afternoon with 309 rushing yards and four of its five touchdowns on the day came via the ground game.

Zonovan Knight notched his first-career 100-yard rushing game, finishing with 119 on 18 carries. He scored twice. Ricky Person ran for 51 on 10 carries, while Jordan Houston added 73 yards on eight runs.

They completely wore out WCU, which managed nothing in the way of answers when it had the ball. The Catamounts were in deep trouble before the game even began, when it was announced that starting quarterback Tyrie Adams and three others had been suspended for a team rules violation.

Adams was essentially the only reason the Catamounts might expect to score some points today, and with him out of the mix, WCU did just slightly more than nothing. Slightly. The Catamounts managed a grand total of one yard of offense during the second half. Four possessions, one yard.

Western Carolina ran only 46 snaps this afternoon and finished with 106 total yards. NC State ran the ball 53 times alone and finished with 540 yards of total offense.

Matthew McKay obviously didn’t need to do a whole lot for State this afternoon, though he finished with a solid 18-28 for 200 yards and a score. He still hasn’t thrown an interception this year.

Bailey Hockman took over for the fourth quarter, mostly just to melt this one down with handoffs, but he did complete four of his five passing attempts for 31 yards.

On to West Virginia.