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QB MJ Morris settles down, leads NC State past Marshall

MJ Morris overcame a shaky opening stretch in his first start of the season to throw four touchdown passes and help host North Carolina State to a 48-41 victory against previously undefeated Marshall on Saturday afternoon in Raleigh, N.C.

Two of the scoring throws went to Kevin Concepcion, and the Wolfpack took control by scoring 13 straight points to begin the fourth quarter.

NC State (4-2) turned to Morris in the first-string role after the offense wasn’t clicking with graduate transfer Brennan Armstrong. Morris was 17-for-32 for 265 yards with three interceptions, while Concepcion made eight catches for 102 yards.

Marshall quarterback Cam Fancher ran for two touchdowns and threw for two more. He ended up with 315 yards on 29-for-51 passing with an interception.

The Thundering Herd (4-1) went three possessions in a row without scoring in the second half. But after breaking that drought on Fancher’s 16-yard TD pass to Caleb Coombs, Marshall got a final possession with 51 seconds to play at its own 3-yard line and didn’t pick up a first down.

Marshall took its final lead in the third quarter when Morris connected with Trent Pennix on a 62-yard scoring pass for 35-31 with 6:43 left.

Michael Allen ran 37 yards for the Wolfpack to begin the second-half scoring for a 28-24 advantage. That came following Marshall’s failed fourth-down play from the NC State 31.

Marshall was back ahead 31-28 on Fancher’s 28-yard pass play to Jayden Harrison with 7:31 left in the third quarter.

NC State’s Brayden Narveson kicked fourth-quarter field goals from 40 and 27 yards.

Morris threw interceptions on two of his first five passes, one of those returned 27 yards by Josh Moten for a touchdown. Morris was 1-for-6 at one point before getting into a better groove.

Fancher’s second touchdown run came from 4 yards out to put the Thundering Herd ahead 24-21 with 31 seconds to play in the first half.

Marshall scored first on Fancher’s 7-yard run to cap its second possession. That came after Morris’ first interception.

The Wolfpack countered when Morris threw a 17-yard scoring pass to Concepcion. The Thundering Herd was back in front on Moten’s interception return.

Delbert Mimms III scored on an 18-yard run for NC State to tie the game at 14 with 11:43 left in the second quarter.

–Field Level Media

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