(Photo credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
North Carolina State's defense dominated for long stretches and even came up with a touchdown as the Wolfpack blew out visiting Virginia Military Institute 45-7 on Saturday afternoon at Raleigh, N.C.
The Wolfpack scored in a variety of ways as Robert Kennedy returned an interception for a touchdown, Julian Gray had a kickoff return for a touchdown and Delbert Mimms III had two first-half touchdown runs of 1 yard each.
NC State quarterback Brennan Armstrong completed 27 of 32 passes for 264 yards and one touchdown as NC State won at home for the first time this year.
NC State (2-1) had no trouble bouncing back after a home loss to Notre Dame last week, leading 21-0 slightly more than 12 minutes into the game. The Wolfpack had their final tune-up before Atlantic Coast Conference play begins Friday at Virginia.
The Wolfpack enjoyed a 498-191 advantage in total yards as Demarcus Jones II pushed across 2-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter. NC State's Kendrick Raphael was the game's leading rusher with 85 yards on 16 carries.
VMI (1-2), a Football Championship Subdivision team, generated only 15 yards net rushing. Quarterback Collin Shannon was 14 of 24 for 176 yards, while Egypt Nelson had three receptions for 103 yards.
Even when VMI finally scored late in the third quarter on a 22-yard reception by Nelson, it was overshadowed when Gray returned the ensuing kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown.
Mimms had the first points of the game on his first touchdown carry, and 80 seconds later, Kennedy picked off Shannon and raced 30 yards for the touchdown.
Armstrong threw 16 yards to Bradley Rozner, whose grab near the corner of the end zone resulted in the game's third touchdown.
After Brayden Narveson's 31-yard field goal opened the second-quarter scoring, Mimms tacked on his second touchdown 25 seconds before halftime. VMI had 79 yards of total offense in the first half.
The Keydets, who lost a week earlier at Bucknell, notched the first points of the second half on Shannon's TD pass to Nelson to wrap up a seven-play drive that went for 68 yards.
It was the first meeting between the teams since 1946.
--Field Level Media