NC State Wins 2014 Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl, 34-27

NC State uses strong third quarter to finish with eight wins, five-game improvement from last year

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. ( - One of the hottest teams in the nation, NC State finished off its 2014 campaign winning the 2014 Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl with a 34-27 win over the UCF Knights. The Wolfpack won its final three games, four of the final five overall, and won eight games on the season - an improvement of five games.

Building upon its 17-10 halftime lead, the Pack came out and dominated on both sides of the ball in the third quarter to take a three-score lead. In the opening quarter of the seconds half, the Pack outgained UCF 180-24, using 128 rushing yards and a pair of running scores from Matt Dayes to take a 31-13 lead into the fourth quarter.

9 plays, 75-yard TD drive on first offensive possession.

For the ninth time in the 13 games this season, the Pack took its opening possession down the field and put points on the scoreboard. After UCF opened with a field goal, the Pack responded with a touchdown to take an early 7-3 lead. The Pack went 75 yards (29 rush, 46 pass) in nine plays, finished off with running back's Shadrach Thornton's first career passing attempt going for a 19-yard score to freshman Jaylen Samuels.

9 plays, 75-yard TD drive on first offensive possession.

Just like the opening drive of the first half, the Pack took its opening possession of the third quarter and went 75 yards in nine plays to extend upon its halftime lead to 24-10. Matt Dayes found a hole in the middle of the field and went 24 yards for his seventh rushing score of the season.