If North Carolina State is going to pull the upset of unbeaten Clemson, they’ll have to do so without the services of one of the linchpin of its offense.
Matthew Dayes sustained what was only described as a lower-body injury and has already been ruled out for the entire second half. NCSU went into the halftime locker room trailing the No. 3 team in the country by the score of 26-20.
At the time of Dayes’ injury, he had nine carries for 72 yards. That total represented the Wolfpack’s entire rushing effort as four others combined for zero yards on seven carries.
For the season, Dayes has rushed for 865 yards. The second-leading rusher, Shadrach Thornton, was dismissed from the program earlier this season.
With Dayes sidelined and Thornton out of the picture, the bulk of the running game load will likely fall on the legs of Jaylen Samuels. The sophomore entered the game third on the team with 143 yards.
At the time of this posting, the Tigers had stretched their lead to 33-20 midway through the third quarter.
As it turns out, Shadrach Thornton‘s third legal strike will be his last at North Carolina State.
Late Wednesday afternoon, the university announced that Thornton had been dismissed from Dave Doeren‘s football program. The move comes the same day that reports surfaced regarding the running back’s involvement in a moped accident — he allegedly struck and injured a pedestrian — that ended with his arrest and multiple misdemeanor charges.
“It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances, but we’ve made the decision to dismiss Shadrach from our program,” the head coach said in a statement. “We will continue to support him academically, and help him earn his degree.”
This was Thornton’s third legal incident in a little over two years.
In 2013, he was suspended for the opener after being charged with violence against a female. He was indefinitely suspended in December of that year for another run-in with the law, and reinstated in August of last year.
On top of that, he was suspended for the first two games of the 2015 season, reportedly for failing a second drug test.
If Thornton could stay out of trouble he’d be one of the most productive backs in the country. Thornton has led the Wolfpack in rushing each of the last three seasons, with his totals increasing from 694 yards to 798 to 907 last season. In August, he was named preseason first-team All-ACC.
Despite missing two full games, Thornton’s 203 rushing yards are second on the Wolfpack this season.
This is Thornton’s final season of eligibility, meaning his collegiate career has come to an end.