If there was any suspense to this game, even the mildest sense of uncertainty for NC State, it came off the bat when Bam Knight fumbled the ball away at midfield on the first drive of the night. But Furman could only turn that into a field goal try that it missed, and from there, the rout was on.
NC State controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides and so the matter was handled with predictable swiftness—it would have taken a whole lot more substantive screwups beyond that first turnover for State to make any sort of mess.
And Bam quickly made up for that early mistake, showing just how good he is by turning a potential no-gainer on third down into a 42-yard run that led to the Pack’s first score. It doesn’t take much to break the back of a team that comes into the building expecting to lose, and after that scoring drive, Furman couldn’t even mock up an attempt at being in the game.
The defense was exceptional, fully taking advantage of the Paladins’ inexperience and lack of talent up front. Furman had no matchups to take advantage of and spun its wheels on possession after possession.
Devin Leary finished 23-29 for 259 yards and three scores as the offensive line delivered a lot of clean pockets. Thayer Thomas was everywhere in the first quarter, and Furman had too many things to think about. Bam needed only 11 carries to hit 100 yards. In terms of a get-right game, you could not ask for more.
We knew this one would be easy, though. What we need to see is this team pass a serious test. The next one of those comes against Clemson next week.