WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) Brennan Armstrong had been out of a starting role for so long this fall that he said he forgot what it like to be a first-stringer.

But he certainly knew what to do while at the controls of North Carolina State’s offense, throwing for one touchdown and running for another as the Wolfpack beat Wake Forest 26-6 on Saturday afternoon, all while appreciating support from teammates during the past month-plus.

“It means everything. It feels really good,” Armstrong said. “I tried to have consistency, try to put positive energy into the team. Feeling the support from the guys is really the best feeling in the world.”

Armstrong, a graduate transfer from Virginia, made his first start since Sept. 29 after MJ Morris opted to sit out the rest of the season to qualify for a redshirt. N.C. State had gone 3-1 with Morris as the starter, but he reached the maximum number of games allowed in order to qualify for a redshirt and preserve a year of eligibility.

“I took the time to reset,” Armstrong said of his back-up role. “I just felt loose.”

N.C. State (7-3, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) won its third game in a row and secured a road win for the second time in the last 11 trips to face the Demon Deacons.

Armstrong threw for 111 yards on 12-for-17 passing and gained a game-high 96 rushing yards on 15 carries.

Wake Forest (4-6, 1-6) lost for the fifth time in six games. The Deacons didn’t pick up a first down until less than 5½ minutes to play in the first half.

“It was not even a competitive football game,” Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said. “It’s on me. It’s Game 10 and to show up like that is very disappointing.”

Wake Forest made a quarterback switch from Mitch Griffis to Michael Kern in the second quarter but that didn’t seem to help. The Deacons’ best scoring chance through three quarters went for naught when Matthew Dennis missed from 39 yards out on a field goal attempt in the final minute of the first half.

N.C. State held Wake Forest to 163 yards of total offense.

Even with the surprise news from Morris earlier in the week, the Wolfpack stayed on task.

“They didn’t let anything get them out of their focus,” coach Dave Doeren said.

Armstrong threw 20 yards to Julian Gray for a touchdown on the Wolfpack’s first possession, then bulled his way into the end zone from the 1 on fourth down in the second quarter. His 38-yard run to the Wake Forest 1 set up Delbert Mimms III’s 1-yard run for a 21-0 lead with 8:07 left in the first half.

N.C. State held a 265-45 advantage in first-half total offense.

“This is the standard that we hold our defense to,” Wolfpack linebacker Jaylon Scott said.

The Wolfpack’s shutout bid was dashed on Kern’s 19-yard, fourth-down pass to Deuce Alexander with 7:15 remaining. N.C. State managed good out of that when Scott returned a two-point conversion pass 100 yards for a defensive conversion.

N.C. State’s KC Concepcion gained 86 yards on five carries. The big one game on the Wolfpack’s first snap of the game, covering 65 yards.


North Carolina State: The Wolfpack’s stout defense covers most other glitches. N.C. State will have at least a .500 ACC record for the fourth consecutive season.

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons didn’t have a spark no matter what they tried and they were mostly bullied along the line of scrimmage in their home finale. They have six losses in a season for the first time in five years.


N.C. State: Saturday at Virginia Tech

Wake Forest: Saturday at No. 22 Notre Dame, where former Demon Deacons quarterback Sam Hartman is the starter.


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