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State Now is your place for Wolfpack sports. Beat writer Joe Giglio has up-to-the-minute news and analysis. Columnist Luke DeCock also contributes. Follow us on Twitter at @jwgiglio or @accnow.

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Injuries taking toll on Wolfpack offense

Running back Matt Dayes and receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling are expected to play against Syracuse on Saturday, N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said.

There's hope that quarterback Brandon Mitchell will return against the Orange, too, but Doeren won't know until Mitchell gets back on the practice field this week.

Doeren ran through the list of injuries on Monday in his weekly press conference and offered some hope that the Wolfpack will get some major parts back for Saturday's home game.

Best in the state? Wake has filled a void left by Mack Brown

N.C. State plays its first game under Dave Doeren against a Big Four opponent on Saturday at Wake Forest.

Coupled with ECU's win over UNC last Saturday, it inspired an idea for the "state championship."

Former UNC coach Mack Brown made a big deal about winning the state title (there's still a plaque in the Kenan Football Center to commemorate the accomplishment). He should have made a big deal the way he blitzed through Duke, Wake Forest and N.C. State in the mid-1990s.

Pack QB Mitchell closer to return

N.C. State quarterback Brandon Mitchell is a step closer to getting back on the football field.

Mitchell, who broke a bone in his left foot in the season-opener and has missed the past three games, is out of the walking boot and off crutches, Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren said Monday.

Mitchell won't play against Wake Forest on Saturday but there's a chance he could be back as soon as N.C. State's game with Syracuse on Oct. 12, according to Doeren.

Pack routs Central Michigan, 48-14

RALEIGH — N.C. State went into Saturday's game with Central Michigan with two goals: build off of a competitive loss to Clemson and avoid an upset scare like it had against Richmond.

Done and done.

The Wolfpack (3-1) got a touchdown from both its defense and special teams and a balanced offensive effort to throttle Central Michigan 48-14 on Saturday.

Thornton still working his way back into game plan

Sophomore running back Shadrach Thornton is working his way back into N.C. State's offense and the good graces of coach Dave Doeren but he's not there yet.

Thornton touched the ball twice in the Wolfpack's 26-14 loss to Clemson last week and both plays were effective. He had a 32-yard catch and a 21-yard touchdown run on the same second-quarter drive. Thornton, the team's leading rusher a year ago, didn't have another carry or catch the rest of the game.

Abu picks Wolfpack

N.C. State added another top 50 recruit to its basketball recruiting class on Saturday. Forward Abdul-Malik Abu chose the Wolfpack over Florida and Providence in a press conference in Boston.

ESPN ranks Abu, who's 6-8 and 230 pounds, as the No. 44 prospect in the class. He joins guard Caleb Martin, ranked No. 50, in the class for coach Mark Gottfried.

Doeren challenges State fans to get back in their seats

Dave Doeren wants N.C. State fans to spend less time in the parking lot and more time in Carter-Finley Stadium.

The new coach challenged the fan base on Monday to get back in their seats for the start of the second half, instead of spending more time tailgating at the break.

Mitchell update, depth chart for Richmond

Updated: 5 p.m.

Brandon Mitchell's surgery was a success, N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said Monday, and the quarterback was back at the Murphy Center on Monday to begin the healing process.

Mitchell, the graduate transfer from Arkansas, broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot in the first half of Saturday's 40-14 win over Louisiana Tech. He's expected to miss four to six weeks.

Wolfpack turns to versatile juco transfer at center

Quinton Schooley played tackle in junior college and was a middle linebacker in high school. On Saturday, the 6-4, 285-pound sophomore will start at center for N.C. State.

Schooley has made a quick transition in positions and from Butler Community College in Kansas to N.C. State. Joe Thuney, the starter at center in the spring before Schooley enrolled, struggled with the consistency of the shotgun snaps in State's up-tempo offense. Schooley's development allows Thuney to move over to right guard for Saturday's opener against Louisiana Tech.

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