Friday, December 13, 2002
N.C. State 38, North Carolina 20
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina State owned the fourth
quarter once again.
Backup tailback Cotra Jackson scored two touchdowns in the final
period as the Wolfpack snapped a seven-game losing streak against
North Carolina with a 38-20 victory Saturday.
The Wolfpack (5-1, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) moved closer
to bowl contention under first-year coach Chuck Amato, while the
Tar Heels (3-3, 1-3) dropped their second straight home game - with
No. 5 Clemson coming to town next weekend.
N.C. State won despite the first mediocre outing by quarterback
Philip Rivers, who came into the game second in the nation in total
offense. The freshman was 13-for-25 for a season-low 202 yards.
Jackson, playing in place of injured Ray Robinson, scored his
game-clinching TD with 10:56 left, 39 seconds after Ronald Curry
fumbled while being sacked by Shane Riggs. Dantonio Burnette
recovered at the North Carolina 15.
Jackson dashed for 8 yards, then dove inside the left end zone
cone from 7 yards out to give the Wolfpack an 11-point lead and a
much-needed cushion over its archrival.
Jackson added a 3-yard scoring run with 49 seconds left, capping
his 94-yard rushing quarter.
N.C. State has outscored opponents 72-24 in the fourth quarter
The Tar Heels crawled back into the game with a solid defensive
third quarter, limiting the Wolfpack to two first downs and just 37
yards while getting a 21-yard field goal by Jeff Reed to close to
Things seemed to get worse for the Wolfpack on the first play of
the fourth quarter when Robinson, who rushed for 110 yards, injured
his right foot while being tackled by Brandon Spoon.
Then, with 11:43 left, Kent Passingham missed a 24-yard field
goal that would have given the Wolfpack a seven-point cushion.
But Curry, who threw four interceptions in the red zone the past
two weeks, coughed up the key fumble that helped snap the
second-longest losing streak by N.C. State in the 90-game series.
The Wolfpack took a quick 10-0 lead and scored on four of its
first five possessions.
The Tar Heels closed to 10-7 late in the opening quarter, but a
fake punt deep in their own territory backfired when punter John
Lafferty was dropped for a 12-yard loss.
Three plays later, the Wolfpack made it 17-7 when Rivers hit a
wide open Bryan Peterson from 10 yards out. Peterson threw a
19-yard scoring pass to Rivers to open the N.C. State scoring,
becoming the first receiver in school history to catch and throw a
TD pass in the same game.
N.C. State threatened to run away with the game midway through
the second quarter when Koren Robinson's 36-yard punt return helped
set up Ray Robinson's 2-yard scoring run and a 17-point lead.
But a spearing penalty on Wolfpack linebacker Levar Fisher
against Curry seemed to fire up the Tar Heels. That 15-yard penalty
kept alive an 84-yard drive capped by Curry's 6-yard keeper.
After UNC held the Wolfpack to three downs for the first time in
the game, Reed's 33-yard field goal 34 seconds before halftime
narrowed the score to 24-17.
N.C. State's Koren Robinson was held to two catches and 41
yards, snapping his school-record streak of six straight 100-yard
|Ray Robinson beats DeFonte Coleman to the end zone for a touchdown in the second quarter on Saturday.|