RALEIGH — It ended almost as soon as it began.
NC State quarterback Devin Leary connected with Thayer Thomas for a 75-yard touchdown pass on the first play from scrimmage, setting the tone for a 41-10 drama-free win over UConn Saturday night at Carter-Finley Stadium.
The No. 12 Wolfpack scored touchdowns on four of their first five drives and Leary gave his best performance of the 2022 season. The junior quarterback completed 32 of 44 passes for 320 yards and four touchdowns, including three in the first half to Thomas, Devin Carter and Keyon Lesane, who hauled in his first career touchdown in the second quarter.
Sophomore running back Demie Sumo-Karngbaye scored on a 20-yard run and NC State led 31-3 at halftime while outgaining its opponent 357-56.
Sumo carried the ball four times in the first quarter before spending the rest of the half on the sideline with a towel over his head. He was ruled out of the second half with an undisclosed upper-body injury. Starting running back Jordan Houston was also ruled out before the start of Saturday’s game with a head injury.
True freshman Michael Allen led the rushing attack in the second half, finishing with a team-high 66 yards on 10 carries.
Leary had 275 yards in the first half but had his final pass of the second quarter picked off which led to UConn's only points of the game. He completed a third-quarter touchdown to Porter Rooks and was replaced by backup Jack Chambers with 9:55 left in the fourth quarter.
Since UConn moved to the FBS in 2002, the Huskies (1-4) are 3-32 against Top 25 opponents, including Saturday’s loss. They've been outscored 148-24 in their last three losses to Syracuse, Michigan and NC State.
The Wolfpack (4-0, 0-0) will travel to Death Valley next week for a showdown against No. 5 Clemson in their ACC opener. The Tigers (4-0, 2-0) survived a trip to Winston-Salem on Saturday with a 51-45 double overtime win over No. 22 Wake Forest.
Thomas moves to No. 2 in record books
With his first-quarter 75-yard touchdown catch, Thomas hauled in his 22nd career score, putting him alone at No. 2 in the NC State record books. The senior wideout passes Jerricho Cotchery (21) and only trails Torry Holt, who holds the record at 31. It was also Thomas’ longest college catch, leading to the fifth 100-yard receiving game of his career.
Saturday’s win provided impressive outings for several NC State wide receivers: Carter, Maryland transfer Darryl Jones and Lesane each had five catches while Rooks, who entered the game with one catch for 10 yards after three games, hauled in five catches for 46 yards and a third-quarter touchdown.
This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: NC State football readies for Clemson with easy win over UConn