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ACC: Wolfpack avoids Blue Devil upset

©Associated Press

October 20, 2002


RALEIGH, N.C. -- Chuck Amato now is part of the two best starts by North Carolina State.

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Chuck Amato now is part of the two best starts by North Carolina State.

Philip Rivers threw for a season-high 364 yards and two touchdowns as the Wolfpack beat Duke 24-22 on Saturday to match the 1967 team at 8-0.

Amato, in his third season as coach, was a senior linebacker on the 1967 team.

"This isn't about Chuck Amato," he said. "That other team was so long ago, they don't even have snapshots of that stuff. This is about North Carolina State's football team and the university and those young men playing the game today."

"I can't play the game today. Well, maybe a couple of snaps."

Amato could joke after the game, but there were tense moments against a team that lost its 21st consecutive conference game.

"You look back on this game, and we won," Rivers said. "Maybe it wakes you up a little bit and says, "Yeah, we're ranked 13th, but we've got to come every week and play our best to win every week."'

N.C. State entered the fourth quarter leading 17-12, and the team gathered around Amato for a pep talk.

The defense responded, sacking Adam Smith three times during the final quarter.

Rivers hit Jerricho Cotchery down the right sideline for a 53-yard touchdown with 2:52 left.

Smith threw a 40-yard touchdown with 16 seconds left, and Duke recovered an onside kick.

But after three incompletions, Brent Garber's 65-yard field goal was more than 10 yards short.

"We went out there, and the wind started blowing in my face," said Garber, whose 52-yarder earlier was good by more than 10 yards. "I'm not sure with that kind of wind I could hit it more than one out of 10 times."

* * *

VIRGINIA 37, NORTH CAROLINA 27: Matt Schaub threw two second-half touchdowns as the host Cavaliers rallied from a 21-0 halftime deficit and extended their win streak to six.

Virginia got a school record-tying 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Marquis Weeks to open the second half. After Sam Aiken recovered a fumble near the goal line, the Cavs drove 98 yards in 12 plays, with Schaub throwing 8 yards to Billy McMullen to make it 21-14.

The Cavaliers tied it with 13:59 left on a 2-yard touchdown run by Wali Lundy and took the lead on Schaub's 35-yard touchdown to Ottowa Anderson with 11:53 left.

Virginia has outscored opponents 177-76 in the second half, and the comeback was its second-biggest, eclipsed only by a rally from 29-7 down at Virginia Tech for a 36-32 victory in 1998.

CLEMSON 31, WAKE FOREST 23: The host Tigers caused five turnovers, including a game-saving fumble.

After Bernard Rambert's second rushing touchdown gave Clemson a 31-23 lead with 3:07 left, Wake Forest had a chance to tie.

But as Chris Barclay headed to the end zone, he was hit by Brian Mance at about the 5 and lost the ball. It rolled through the end zone for a touchback with 1:15 left, and Clemson ran out the clock.

Tarence Williams's 11-yard touchdown run put Wake up 23-14 with 13:17 left. Rambert closed it to 23-21 with a 2-yard run, and Aaron Hunt's 34-yard field goal with 9:38 left put Clemson up 24-23.

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