When fans discuss the difference between FBS and FCS teams, the most common adjectives used are superior size and speed.
NC State had too much of both in a 52-14 victory over The Citadel before 55,145 fans Saturday night at Carter-Finley Stadium in the first meeting between the two teams since 1983.
The Wolfpack (3-1) denied the Bulldogs their fourth straight win to open the season and first victory over an FBS team since their Southern Conference championship campaign of 1992. The Citadel returns to SoCon play next Saturday night at home against Chattanooga at 6 p.m.
The Bulldogs entered the game ranked No. 10 in the nation by The Sports Network and No. 14 in the FCS Coaches poll. Historically, teams have not been penalized too much by voters when losing to an FBS opponent.
The Citadel remained winless in 28 games against the ACC since the conference was formed in 1953. NC State has won all five matchups in the series.
The game was all NC State after a 65-yard run by Darien Robinson brought The Citadel into a 7-7 tie with 5:45 remaining in the first quarter. The touchdown was Robinson's third of the season and was just two yards shy of his career-long run set against Elon a year ago.
Robinson finished the night with nine carries for 102 yards, his third 100-yard game of the season and sixth of his career, and VanDyke Jones added 46 rushing yards. The Bulldogs were limited to 199 yards on the ground after averaging 370.0 in its season opening three-game winning streak.
The Wolfpack answered the Robinson score with a pair of touchdowns in a span of 2:37 to take a 21-7 lead after the first quarter, a stretch keyed by a fumble byBen Dupree that was recovered by Brian Slay at The Citadel 24 and led to a 20-yard touchdown pass from Mike Glennon to Bryan Underwood.
NC State added three more touchdowns in the second quarter, including a 73-yard punt return by Rashard Smith.
Glennon led a 284-yard offensive attack in the first half and had two rushing touchdowns in addition to his pass to Underwood. Glennon's one-yard plunge as the clock hit zero sent the Wolfpack into the locker room with a 42-7 cushion.
After a promising opening drive which reached NC State territory and Robinson's long run, the physical advantage enjoyed by the Wolfpack took over. NC State limited the Bulldogs to 34 yards the rest of the half by shutting down both the perimeter and inside running game.
Glennon, a graduate student with NFL aspirations, completed 19 of 24 passes for 233 yards. Shadrach Thornton led NC State ball carriers with 145 yards and scored two first half touchdowns. Potential first round draft pick David Amerson picked off an Aaron Miller pass to tie the Wolfpack career record with 16.
The Bulldogs took advantage of a Wolfpack turnover to score the first touchdown of the second half. Rah Muhammad recovered a Glennon fumble at the NC State 28, and Vinny Miller scored his second touchdown of the season on a 15-yard run with 6:10 left in the third quarter.
The Wolfpack rounded out the scoring with a six-yard run by Brandon Barnes and a 23-yard field goal by Niklas Sade.
Carl Robinson had his third straight double figure tackle game with 13 to increase his team-leading total to 45 while Muhammad followed with 10 stops. FreshmanMark Thomas had a sack in his third straight game, fellow first-year player Mitchell Jeter had his first career sack and senior Chris Billingslea also had a quarterback takedown.
The game featured the return to game action for junior defensive tackle Derek Douglas. Douglas suffered a torn ACL during spring practice and returned to full speed in drills this week. He was credited with an assisted tackle against the Wolfpack.