by Joe Schwartz
CARTER-FINLEY STADIUM/RALEIGH — Someone turned on the offensive switch at Carter-Finely Stadium in the second quarter. After a first stanza that saw N.C. State go three and out on all three possessions and UNC come away with a field goal and a turnover in two red zone trips, the teams combined for five touchdowns to close out the half. UNC leads 24-14 at the half.
Tar Heel quarterback T.J. Yates found freshman wideout Jherani Boyd for a 35-yard strike on the opening play of the second quarter, and the floodgates opened.
Key series of the half With the Wolfpack trailing 17-7, Russell Wilson led his team on an 11-play 77 yard touchdown drive capped off by a 14-yard toss to prolific target Jarvis Williams. He had help dressed in Carolina blue (well, kind of, UNC is wearing white jerseys and navy blue pants that border on Duke colors to some). Two pass interference penalties, one on Charles Brown and one on Kendric Burney and an unnecessary roughness call on defensive end Michael McAdoo gave N.C. State 44 free yards. The toss to Williams, his 11th TD grab on the year, ate up 4:50 on the clock and stymied a UNC offense that's looked the best it has played in weeks.
Key stats of the half Yates has been an efficient 6 for 8 for 201 yards and two touchdowns, both to Boyd, who has 100 yards receiving on those two catches (insert Cris Carter all he does is catch touchdowns reference here). Most telling though is that UNC has 313 yards of total offense to N.C. State's dyslexic 113 yards.
What to watch for in the second half N.C. State needs to sure up its secondary, which has been torched for three long scores. Tom O'Brien's club must feel lucky to only be down a touchdown given the total yards difference. Look for them to try to establish the run (one yard per carry so far) and keep the ball away from Yates.