NC State bounces back from first loss to pound Furman, 45-7

Sunday, September 19, 2021
North Carolina State's Zonovan Knight stretches for the goal line against Furman' on Saturday in Raleigh.

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Devin Leary threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as North Carolina State geared up for a key Atlantic Coast Conference clash by beating Furman 45-7 on Saturday night.

Zonovan Knight ran for 104 yards and a touchdown on 11 first-half carries for the Wolfpack (2-1), which braces for a visit from Clemson to open its league schedule next week.

Leary completed 23 of 29 passes for 259 yards, all in the first half as the Wolfpack opened a 38-0 lead by halftime.

It was a strong bounce-back performance for NC State after dropping a road decision to Mississippi State a week earlier.

Knight scored on a 1-yard run to open the scoring, churning out 56 rushing yards of the 69 yards on the eight-play drive.

Leary's touchdown passes went to Dylan Parham for 4 yards, Anthony Smith for 42 yards and Thayer Thomas for 12 yards - all in the Wolfpack's 28-point second quarter. He also ran for a 7-yard scoring during the quarter.

Furman (2-1) had one first down in the first half, with 49 yards of total offense. The Paladins' best scoring chance of the half came after recovering a fumble on N.C. State's first possession, but Timmy Bleekrode missed on a 48-yard field-goal attempt.

Furman quarterback Hamp Sisson finished 8-for-19 for 86 yards with a touchdown toss and an interception.

The Wolfpack seemed well-recovered on defense after losing linebacker Payton Wilson and safety Cyrus Fagan, both starters, to season-ending injuries a week earlier. The Wolfpack has yielded a total of seven points in two home games this year. Furman was 0-for-7 on third-down conversions in the first half.

N.C. State faces a tougher test next week vs. Clemson on Saturday in its ACC opener.