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at NC State 38 … Central Michigan 24

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Oct 8, 2011


Week 6 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - Central Michigan at NC State


2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 6 - CMU at NC State

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Oct. 8 at NC State 38 … Central Michigan 24
CFN Analysis: Finally, the NC State defense showed up. Central Michigan’s offense rolled at will, but the Pack came up with stop after stop with turnovers taking away four interceptions and forcing a fumble. Offensively, Mike Glennon didn’t take many chances, but he threw four touchdown passes and he didn’t make any key mistakes. James Washington had a hard game running for a workmanlike 109 yards and a touchdown, but he gave the long-suffering ground game some punch. With two weeks off, and at 3-3, there’s time to prepare for a road trip at Virginia. Win that, and there’s still a shot at a bowl game.

Ryan Radcliff was terrific, all except for his four interceptions. He kept pressing and kept pushing the deep throws, spreading the ball around well and connecting on four plays of more than 20 yards, but outside of a late 77-yard touchdown run from Paris Cotton, there wasn’t enough of a ground game to help calm the offense down. The offense is all around Radcliff, and if he’s screwing up, CMU can’t win. Turnovers have been a problem, and over the next four games with winnable games against Eastern Michigan, Ball State, Akron and Kent State, the only way the Chippewas don’t win all four is by losing the turnover battle.

(AP) RALEIGH, N.C. -- Mike Glennon passed for 244 yards and four touchdowns to help North Carolina State beat Central Michigan 38-24 on Saturday.

James Washington rushed for 109 yards and a score for the Wolfpack (3-3), who picked up their first win against a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent this season.

N.C. State, which trailed 17-14 midway through the second quarter, scored 24 consecutive points to seize control.

The Wolfpack's much-maligned defense forced five turnovers and stopped the Chippewas from scoring on eight consecutive possessions at one point.

Ryan Radcliff passed for 245 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions for Central Michigan (2-4).

Paris Cotton ran for 158 yards and a touchdown as the Chippewas dropped to 0-7 all time against current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Wolfpack, hindered by injuries on defense all season, welcomed back a couple of key contributors in linebacker Terrell Manning and lineman Brian Slay. Manning had a sack, a forced fumble and a key interception in the second half after missing the last two games with a knee injury.

N.C. State entered the game last in the ACC in points allowed and 11th in the league in total yards allowed. But Central Michigan, which racked up 254 yards in the first half, managed just 43 yards in the third quarter.

Radcliff was just 1 of 10 passing with three interceptions in the third quarter after completing 15 of 17 passes in the first half.

The Chippewas cut N.C. State's lead to 38-24 on a 77-yard touchdown run by Cotton midway through the fourth quarter, and they recovered the ensuing onside kick. But David Amerson came up with his second interception of the day, picking off Radcliff's pass in the end zone to help preserve the victory for N.C. State.

The game was a shootout at the start, with each team scoring a pair of touchdowns in the first quarter. Glennon, who threw three touchdown passes in the first half, capped the Wolfpack's first two drives with scoring strikes to George Bryan and Jay Smith.

Radcliff matched Glennon with two touchdown passes of his own, but the Chippewas couldn't keep up the pace once they started losing the ball.

Central Michigan gave up the ball inside N.C. State's 20 late in the second quarter when Titus Davis lost a fumble at the end of a 46-yard reception. Radcliff then threw interceptions on his team's first two possessions of the second half.

Manning picked off the first pass, and Glennon cashed in on the chance with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Tobias Palmer that put N.C. State ahead 28-17.

Washington scored on a 2-yard run early in the fourth quarter after another Radcliff interception to extend the Wolfpack's lead to 35-17.

N.C. State came out in uniforms different from the red jerseys and white pants that it traditionally wears at home. The Wolfpack wore black jerseys featuring pink numerals for breast cancer awareness, black pants and red helmets.

Central Michigan (2-3) at NC State (2-3) Oct. 8, 3:30, ESPN3

Here’s The Deal … The 2011 season just keeps getting worse for injury-riddled NC State, which has to be wondering if a turnaround is even possible this fall. For the third time in three tries, the Pack lost a game to an FBS team, taking it on the chin from Georgia Tech, 45-35. The final score was a poor indication of just how superior the Yellow Jackets were at Carter-Finley Stadium. Making matters worse, the ongoing Heisman campaign of Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson, who used to call Raleigh home, has become a distraction for head coach Tom O’Brien and his players. Central Michigan is aiming to add to the Pack’s woes in the schools’ first-ever meeting.

The Chippewas head to North Carolina with no shortage of confidence after playing their best game of the two-year Dan Enos era. Without much warning, CMU snapped a three-game losing streak with a 48-41 upset of heavily-favored Northern Illinois in front of a pleasantly surprised home crowd.

Why Central Michigan Might Win: Hope in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. comes in the form of an offense that mercifully awoke in Week 4. In the surprise win over Northern Illinois, the Chippewas amassed 563 total yards and six touchdowns. QB Ryan Radcliff bounced back from a tough outing at Michigan State by throwing for 387 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. His preferred playmate was RB Paris Cotton, who ran for 110 yards, caught four balls for 115 yards and scored three times. Racked by injuries and consecutive blowout losses, the NC State defense could serve as an ideal venue for Central Michigan to parlay last week’s outburst into the start of a trend.

Why NC State Might Win: While the Chippewas snapped their losing streak a week ago, their defensive headaches remain very much alive. Central Michigan has yielded at least 41 points in each of the last three contests, looking equally feeble versus the run as the pass. The Wolfpack ought to be able to capitalize, while venting a month’s worth of pent-up frustration. The Pack is coming off a solid game on the ground in which James Washington and redshirt freshman Tony Creecy combined for 208 yards and a score on 32 carries. With more support from the backs, it’ll reduce some of the pressure of being Wilson’s successor for QB Mike Glennon.

What To Watch Out For: NC State did get some good news on defense last week with the return of lineman J.R. Sweezy. The senior all-star made his 2011 debut after sitting out the first four games with a broken foot. A tackle by trade, he lined up on the outside in order to reduce the chances of being chopped by opposing blockers. He played well, posting his first sack of the year, and will make everyone around him a little better. The Pack will need it on a front four that’s been hit particularly by health problems this fall.

What Will Happen: After getting whipped in consecutive weeks by Cincinnati and Georgia Tech, NC State will not squander an opportunity to be the bully for a chance. The Pack will take advantage of the deficiencies on the Central Michigan by establishing the running attack before turning Glennon loose on play-action. Radcliff will pile up the yards through the air, but a return to his turnover-prone ways will stifle the Chippewas’ ability to rally in the second half.

CFN Prediction: NC State 38 … Central Michigan 24
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