Raiders Fall 24-3 at N.C. StateNovember 19, 2005 · MT Media Relations
RALEIGH, N.C. - North Carolina State used a blocked punt and an interception for two easy touchdowns, defeating Middle Tennessee, 24-3, Saturday at Carter-Finley Stadium.
The Middle Tennessee defense allowed a season-low 238 yards, but the Wolfpack scored on an interception return for a touchdown and drove 10 yards on one play for another score after a blocked punt. The other TD drive for N.C. State covered just 50 yards to open the second half.
Cleannord Saintil caught 10 passes for 129 yards in the contest for the Blue Raiders, moving into the Top 10 on both the single-season and career receptions list. Quarterback Clint Marks was harassed all day, throwing for 228 yards on 23-of-37.
The Blue Raiders took the opening possession of game and marched inside the Wolfpack 10-yard line, using almost eight minutes of the clock and a season-high 16 plays before Colby Smith booted a 26-yard field goal for a 3-0 Middle Tennessee lead. Eugene Gross had 15- and 17-yard scampers on the drive, while Marks was 4-of-6 on the drive.
The offense drove inside the NCSU 20-yard line on its second possession, with Smith making a 32-yard field goal, but the Wolfpack jumped offsides, giving the Blue Raiders a first down at the 10. Gross scored on a shuffle pass on the next play, but Middle Tennessee was called for offsides.
The Raiders were unable to score and Smith booted a 31-yard field through the uprights, only to have Middle Tennessee called for illegal formation. Smith's third try of the drive, this one from 36 yards, went wide right, ending the more than four-minute drive with no points.
The home team got on the board in the second quarter after a 10-play drive, ending with John Deraney's 27-yard field goal for a 3-3 contest.
The Wolfpack blocked a punt late in the second quarter, and Andre Brown ran it in from 10 yards on the next play, giving NCSU a 10-3 advantage at the half.
N.C. State took less than two minutes to score to open the second half, capped by a six-yard TD pass from Marcus Stone to T.J. Williams for a 17-3 lead.
Stephen Tulloch intercepted a Marks pass and outran Blue Raider Taron Henry to the endzone later in the third quarter, a 50-yard return, giving the Wolfpack a 24-3 advantage.
The Blue Raiders play next Saturday at Troy at 6 p.m. on ESPNU.
MIDDLE TENNESSEE VS NORTH CAROLINA STATE
NOVEMBER 19, 2005; CARTER-FINLEY STADIUM
ROBINSON GETS 4TH: Sophomore defensive back Bradley Robinson came up with his team-leading fourth interception of the season late in the third quarter against N.C. State. The four interceptions this season rank as the most by a Blue Raider since Jykine Bradley recorded four in 2001. The Duncan, S.C., native now has six interceptions for his career.
MARKS CONTINUES STREAK: For the fourth game in a row, signal caller Clint Marks went over the 200-yard passing mark with 228 yards against the Wolfpack. Marks, who did not have a 200-yard game until the sixth game of the year, now has 13 200-yard games during his career. That total ranks second all-time behind Wes Counts' 18.
SAINTIL OVER 100: For the second time in his career and the second time over the last four games, wide receiver Cleannord Saintil went over the 100-yard receiving mark. Saintil hauled in 10 passes for 129 yards to lead the Blue Raiders. Over the past five games, Saintil is averaging 7.2 receptions per game and 97.4 yards.
SAINTIL IN TOP 10: Senior Cleannord Saintil moved into the top 10 at Middle Tennessee in receptions after grabbing 10 against N.C. State. Saintil ran his career total to 94 to surpass David Stewart (87) and Chris Henry (93) for ninth place on the all-time list. The Naples, Fla., native also moved into the top 10 on the single-season list with a team-leading 54 catches on the year, tying Sulecio Sanford for eighth.
SHORT-HANDED: The Middle Tennessee football team has been riddled with injuries over the past two games of the season and faced N.C. State at less than full strength. Three defensive starters - Jeremiah Weaver, Dennis Burke and Jonathan Bonner - did not see the field.
DEFENSE STINGY AGAIN: Despite the three missing starters, the Blue Raider defense allowed a season-low 238 yards of total offense by N.C. State, the fourth game this season Middle Tennessee has given up less than 300 yards to an opponent. It is the least yards allowed since last season versus Utah State (October 30, 2004 - 156). The defense allowed only 85 yards passing, the first time since November 3, 2001, versus Arkansas State (72) that the Middle Tennessee defense has allowed an opponent less than 100 yards passing in a game.
MARKS PASSES MORRIS & QUINN: With 228 yards passing against N.C. State, quarterback Clint Marks moved into third place on the all-time passing list at Middle Tennessee. Marks surpassed Teddy Morris and Jonathan Quinn today to take over the third spot. Marks now has 4,982 career passing yards but is well behind second place Kelly Holcomb (7,064 yards).
WALDEN STARTS AT LB: Sophomore defensive end Erik Walden made his sixth start of the season and his first-ever at linebacker. Due to injuries last week to starters Jonathan Bonner and Dennis Burke, Walden was moved from his defensive end spot to start at the left outside linebacker spot.
QUICK HITTERS: Middle Tennessee's opening drive of the game was its longest of the year in terms of plays with 16 and time of possession with 7:42 ... RB Ralph King made his first collegiate start at running back today against the Wolfpack ... WR Cleannord Saintil has now made at least one reception in 20 straight games for the Blue Raiders ... MT is now 0-4 all-time against the ACC ... OT Germayle Franklin made his team-leading 26th straight start today while Quinton Staton and Willie Hall made their 20th consecutive starts ... Transfer senior Marcus Roebuck saw his first action of the season today on special teams ... In the first quarter today, the Blue Raiders had the ball a total of 12:52 ... MT is now 1-27 in the I-A era when scoring less than 20 points in a game ... The loss today assured the Blue Raiders of their fourth straight losing season ... Punter Colby Smith nailed a season-long 59-yard punt in the third quarter ... Bradley Robinson had a season-long 29-yard punt return in the fourth quarter.
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