RALEIGH Ryan Finley clearly won the quarterback battle in Week 1, but Jalan McClendon proved on Saturday night he’s still a weapon. The two quarterbacks were responsible for six touchdowns four passing, two rushing in a 49-22 rout of an overmatched Old Dominion team.After not receiving any snaps against East Carolina, McClendon was a goal-line guru for the Wolfpack on Saturday. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound quarterback received three snaps in the first three quarters against the Monarchs, turning all three into touchdowns.”Jalan’s a great teammate and he understood why Ryan [Finley] was in front of him,” Doeren said of McClendon. “He also, like we told him, was going to have opportunities and he seized them today. I’m proud of him for that. … He’s got a great future.”Two of McClendon’s touchdowns were rushing scores for a total of four yards while the other came on a three-yard pass. The recipient? None other than Thaddeus Moss, Randy Moss’ son, for his first collegiate touchdown.”It’s a little special just for it being the first touchdown,” Moss said. “It felt good to go ahead and get the first one out of the way. I look forward to getting many more touchdowns.”McClendon may have provided a spark, but he’s not taking the reins away from Finley any time soon.Coming off a strong game against ECU, Finley finished 24-of-48 for 281 yards and three touchdowns. His three passing scores were a career-best after accounting for three total in two years at Boise State.Meanwhile, he also remained perfect in 80 passing attempts to start the season for NC State. During his tenure with the Broncos, Finley threw five interceptions in just 97 attempts. It’s not what NC State fans expected, but certainly a welcomed sight after the uncertainty at the position during the offseason.”He’s just consistent,” Doeren said of Finley. “He understands where to go with the football and leads the AC in completion rate. He manages the game well and understands what coach [Eli] Drinkwitz wants and distributes the ball to our playmakers.”Speaking of those playmakers, Jaylen Samuels caught two touchdowns to bring his total for the season to six. Matt Dayes didn’t touch paydirt, but he did put up 120 total yards his third straight 100-plus yard game to start the season. Moss wasn’t the only tight end to score his first touchdown, either, as team captain Cole Cook caught a pass from Finley to finally get in the end zone.What comes next is a gauntlet of ACC games that begins with Wake Forest after an off weekend. The Demon Deacons aren’t usually circled on calendars, but a 3-0 start and 24-14 win at Duke proves Wake is on the rise this season.After getting off to a 2-1 start with a loss at ECU, October will tell a lot more about where this NC State season is headed than September.
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