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ACC: Rally helps Maryland clinch second place

By Wire services
Published November 23, 2003

RALEIGH, N.C. - It was just another game between Maryland and North Carolina State: a close score, kicking playing a key role and the Terps coming out on top.

Nick Novak redeemed himself for a missed extra point with a 43-yard field goal with 23 seconds left as Maryland rallied from 14 down for a 26-24 victory.

The victory clinched second in the conference and gave the Terps the inside track for the Gator Bowl.

The Terps, who have won the past four in the series by seven points or fewer, trailed 24-10 with 6:23 left before Scott McBrien led drives that resulted in two touchdowns and the winning field goal.

"It was just like the last time we were here," Terps coach Ralph Friedgen said of the team's 23-19 victory in Raleigh in 2001. "We couldn't do anything for a while, but they missed some opportunities to put us away. We kept hanging around, and we finally got our offense in gear."

The Wolfpack appeared to have the game in hand when Tramain Hall returned a punt 83 yards for a touchdown and Adam Kiker added a 32-yard field goal to give it a 24-10 lead through the fourth.

The winning possession began with 1:50 left after running back T.A. McLendon fumbled at the N.C. State 46. It took five plays to set up Novak's winner.

DUKE 30, NORTH CAROLINA 22: Chris Douglas ran for 119 yards and a touchdown and Cedric Dargan added two scoring runs as the visiting Blue Devils ended a 13-game losing streak against the Tar Heels. Duke hadn't beaten North Carolina since 1989, when Steve Spurrier was coach, and went 2-3 under interim coach Ted Roof.

The Blue Devils took a 23-0 lead during the first half. A 45-yard run by Douglas set up the first of three field goals, and Dargan scored on two 1-yard runs. Darian Durant threw two touchdowns and ran for another in the second half, twice getting North Carolina within one score. But it failed to pick up a first down after getting the ball with 2:36 left.

VIRGINIA 29, GEORGIA TECH 17: Matt Schaub passed for 239 yards and a touchdown to help the host Cavaliers become bowl eligible.

Virginia led 23-7 at halftime on three field goals by Connor Hughes, Schaub's 10-yard pass to Heath Miller and Marques Hagans' 2-yard run. A field goal and Jonathan Smith's 80-yard punt return for a touchdown got Georgia Tech to within 23-17. But with 8:26 left, Almondo Curry intercepted Reggie Ball, and Virginia made a field goal.

[Last modified November 23, 2003, 01:46:45]

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