Wolfpack Runs Past North Carolina to Clinch Bowl Eligibility




CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) --- Jaylen Samuels ran for one touchdown and threw for another on a trick play, and North Carolina State held on to upset North Carolina 28-21 on Friday, earning bowl eligibility while also locking up a division title for Virginia Tech.

In what at times seemed like a replay of NC State's 35-7 rout here two years ago, Matt Dayes rushed for 104 yards and two touchdowns. The second of those put the Wolfpack (6-6, 3-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) up 21-0 early in the second quarter.

"It's about these players and these coaches hanging together amid a lot of heartbreaking days and negativity and doubt," coach Dave Doeren said. "Guys just kept fighting with each other and for each other and they knew where our program is headed. ... Today was about mastering ourselves and finding a way to win and doing it against our rival."

NC State has now won its last two games at UNC, and four of the last five dating back to 2008.

Samuels threw a 59-yard touchdown pass to Stephen Louis on a trick play on the opening drive, and ran 4 yards for the TD that made it 28-7.

Mitch Trubisky threw three touchdown passes for the Tar Heels (8-4, 5-3), including a 48-yarder to Bug Howard that made it a seven-point game with 7:52 left. But on their next possession, they were stopped on downs near midfield with 3:10 to go and NC State ran out the clock.

The Tar Heels, 10 1/2-point favorites, needed a win and a Virginia Tech loss to Virginia to earn a second straight ACC championship game berth. This loss locks the Hokies into next week's matchup with No. 4 Clemson in Orlando, Florida.

NC State largely kept it on the ground against the ACC's worst run defense, running it 53 times while throwing just 24 passes and rolling up 259 yards rushing and 492 total yards.

WOLFPACK SPOTLIGHT DRIVE - 1st half
5 plays, 89 yards in 1:37 - Samuels to Louis 59 yard TD pass

After forcing a UNC punt on the game's first possession, NC State went 89 yards in only five plays for the game's first score. The drive culminated in a trick play, as Jaylen Samuels received a backwards pass, and then threw a 59-yard TD pass to wide open Stephen Louis. On the drive, three Wolfpack players completed a pass - combining to go 3-of-4 for 84 yards.

The TD was the Pack's first score on an opening drive since the Wake Forest contest.

WOLFPACK SPOTLIGHT DRIVE - 2nd half
14 plays, 85 yards in 6:30 - Samuels 4 yard TD run

NC State received the opening kick of the second half, after UNC failed on a surprise onside kick attempt, and the Pack went 85 yards in 14 plays and increased its lead to 28-7 midway through the third quarter. After throwing for a TD pass in the first half, Jaylen Samuel ran for a score, capping a drive that took 6:30 with a four-yard TD rush - his sixth of the season.