Armstrong returns as starter, leads NC State to win at Wake Forest

North Carolina State quarterback Brennan Armstrong (5) celebrates his touchdown against Wake Forest during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Winston-Salem, N.C., Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

WINSTON-SALEM — Brennan Armstrong threw for one touchdown and ran for another as NC State beat Wake Forest 26-6 on Saturday afternoon.

The Wolfpack (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 against the Demon Deacons.

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. NC 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.

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.

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.

NC State held Wake Forest to 163 yards of total offense.

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.

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

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

Next Saturday, NC State plays at Virginia Tech, while Wake Forest travels to No. 22 Notre Dame.