Brady Shines in Marshall's Setback at North Carolina State|
Sept. 9, 2017
By Chuck McGill
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- A Marshall receiver shattered a Carter-Finley Stadium record, but it was North Carolina State which came away with the win, 37-20, in front of 57,430 fans here Saturday night.
MU junior receiver Tyre Brady finished with 248 yards, the most ever by an opposing player in the 52-year history of the stadium (Wake Forest's James Brim had 194 receiving yards at N.C. State on Sept. 20, 1986). Brady, playing in his second career game at Marshall, gained 188 yards in the first half against the Wolfpack, torturing the State secondary with receptions of 23, 33, 38 and 75 yards in the first half alone.
After Brady's 75-yard second quarter touchdown reception on a beautifully thrown ball by junior quarterback Chase Litton, however, the Atlantic Coast Conference hosts took over.
North Carolina State (1-1, 0-0 ACC) scored 20 unanswered points from the last two minutes of the first half through the third quarter to put away the pesky visitors from Huntington. The loss dropped Marshall to 1-1 overall in non-conference play with this Saturday's home game against Kent State next on the horizon.
North Carolina State took the first lead of the game on a 31-yard field goal by Carson Wise on its first drive of the home season opener for the Wolfpack.
Marshall responded with a nine-play, 85-yard drive that featured six completions in seven tries by Litton. Most of the production went to Brady, who made a pair of catches along the sideline. He finished the drive with four receptions and 75 yards, but it was Willie Johnson who took care of the scoring -- a 1-yard pass from Litton that was initially ruled incomplete on the field. An official replay overturned the call, giving Johnson -- a redshirt freshman -- his first career touchdown reception.
The Herd added to the lead on its next possession, a six-play, 66-yard drive that was capped by a 33-yard field goal by Kaare Vedvik. Marshall tilted the field on that drive when junior running back Keion Davis took a handoff and bounced down the left sideline for a career-long 53-yard run.
Marshall's lead grew to 10 points, 13-3, with 8:20 left of the second quarter when Vedvik connected on another field goal -- this one 45 yards. It was a career long for Vedvik, and the longest field goal for Marshall since the 2014 Conference USA championship game (46 yards by Justin Haig). Litton completed 4 of 6 passes on that drive, including a 38-yarder to Brady on third and 11.
The Wolfpack quickly answered with a six-play, 68-yard drive that was capped by a 24-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Finley to Stephen Louis. The Herd had held N.C. State to third and 6, but Louis took a screen pass and broke multiple tackles before racing to the end zone with 5:26 left on the clock to make it 13-10, Herd.
Moments later, Marshall doubled up State on another Litton-to-Brady passing connection. Litton found Brady along the left sideline and Brady out-ran the Wolfpack defense for a 75-yard touchdown with 5:07 left to make it 20-10, Herd. That play came on the drive's only play.
N.C. State took over from there. The Wolfpack scored the final 13 points of the half, first scoring on a 39-yard pass from Finley to Samuels on a trick play. Samuels was left all alone along the right sideline and dove into the end zone with 2:05 left to make it 20-17, Marshall.
After three incompletions by Litton and a punt, N.C. State pushed the ball down the field on a seven-play, 82-yard drive that took 1:21. The Wolfpack took the lead on a 34-yard pass from Finley to Kelvin Harmon, and a failed point after gave N.C. State a 23-20 lead at intermission.
The Wolfpack extended that lead to 10 points, 30-20, with a long 13-play drive to open the third quarter. Running back Reggie Gallaspy II took a pitch to the right side and scored on a fourth-and-goal play to conclude a 70-yard drive that chewed six minutes and 56 seconds off the clock.
Marshall responded with its own lengthy drive, a 16-play march that gained 56 yards but ended with no points when Vedvik missed what would have been a career long 46-yard field goal.
Those were the only two drives in the third quarter.
N.C. State extended its lead to 37-20 at 3:58 in the fourth quarter with a Gallaspy 23-yard run.
Marshall welcomes former Mid-American Conference foe Kent State to the Joan C. Edwards Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m.