N.C. State holds off Maryland on late FG attempt

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N.C. State holds off Maryland on late FG attempt

By DAVID GINSBURG

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) -- Mike Glennon directed a frantic drive to set up a 43-yard field goal by Niklas Sade with 32 seconds left, and North Carolina State overcame a valiant performance by Maryland backup quarterback Devin Burns in a 20-18 victory Saturday.

After Sade's kick, the Terrapins moved 60 yards in five plays behind third-string quarterback Caleb Rowe before a 33-yard field goal try by Brad Craddock hit the left upright with two seconds remaining.

The Wolfpack (5-2, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed 18-17 and had no timeouts left upon getting the ball at their own 20 with 2:17 to go. Glennon completed a 14-yard pass to Quintin Payton on a third-and-10 and pushed N.C. State into field-goal range with a 14-yard completion to Rashard Smith.

Glennon went 23 for 47 for 307 yards and two touchdowns, and Bryan Underwood had six catches for 134 yards and a score. Underwood has caught a TD pass in seven straight games, the longest such streak in school history.

Burns replaced injured Perry Hills late in the second quarter and nearly produced a stunning victory for Maryland (4-3, 2-1) against all odds in the first extensive action of his college career.

Burns, a sophomore, rushed for 50 yards and completed 3 of 4 passes for 47 yards. He wasn't even on the depth chart at quarterback at the beginning of summer practice and ran only two plays this season before being pressed into action after Hills was carted from the field in the second quarter with what appeared to be a serious knee injury.

Maryland trailed 10-3 at halftime and 17-15 in the fourth quarter before rallying behind Burns and true freshman Wes Brown, who ran for 121 yards on 25 carries.

The Terps went up 18-17 on a 48-yard field goal by Craddock with 13:39 left, but the lead wouldn't stand up.

Hills' injury occurred while he was trying to make a tackle after throwing an interception. The quarterback was chasing David Amerson when he was flattened by Rickey Dowdy, who was called for an illegal block to the back.

Hills was thrust into the starting role in August after C.J. Brown tore his ACL. Hill helped Maryland win four of six games and was 12 for 20 for 159 yards in this one before leaving.

Burns, meanwhile, moved from quarterback to wide receiver in the spring of 2011, then switched back to quarterback during preseason camp after Brown's injury.

In spite of his lack of experience, Burns brought the Terrapins back against an N.C. State coming off a bye and two weeks removed from beating Florida State.

Maryland trailed 10-3 before a blocked punt and interference penalty set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Brown midway through the third quarter. The conversion kick failed.

On the first play following the kickoff, Underwood slipped free down the middle and was 10 yards behind the closest Maryland defender when he hauled in a rainbow pass from Glennon for a 68-yard score.

Undaunted, Burns directed a 74-yard drive that got the Terrapins to 17-15. After peeling off runs of 23, 5 and 14 yards in addition to completing a 38-yard pass to Marcus Leak, Burns scored on a bootleg from the 2.

The Wolfpack gained 18 yards on 12 plays in the first quarter while falling behind 3-0. Hills completed a pass to Leak for 47 yards on Maryland's second possession to set up a 36-yard field goal by Brad Craddock.

NC State bounced back with a strong second quarter, extending a season-long trend. Glennon went 3 for 3 for 71 yards in a 75-yard march that ended with the quarterback hitting wide-open fullback Logan Winkles over the middle for a 25-yard touchdown.

After a Maryland punt, Glennon completed a 28-yard pass to Underwood on a third-and-16, which led to a field goal for a 10-3 lead. Late in the half, Amerson picked off a Hills pass and went the distance, but the block-to-the-back penalty nullified the score.

The Wolfpack has outscored the opposition 62-13 in the second quarter this year.

College Football Playoff projections: From contender to pretender in just four weeks

College Football Playoff projections: From contender to pretender in just four weeks

There were high hopes for LSU at the start of the season. With the collection of talent the Tigers boast on their roster, there was no reason to think they could not challenge Alabama for SEC supremacy.

Even my preseason College Football Playoff projections at the start of the season had LSU as one of the four teams to make the playoff.

SEE THE NEW COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF PROJECTION HERE

The Tigers' championship hopes took a hit with an opening loss to Wisconsin. Now just four games into their season, Les Miles been fired and their playoff aspirations appear to be completely dashed after a devastating loss Auburn.

With Alabama looking as dominant as ever and what was believed to be their main rival already looking down and out, who else can challenge the Tide for supremacy of the SEC? Who else joins the Alabama in the projected top four?

Find out here in this week's College Football Playoff projection.

Jerod Evans' 4 touchdowns carry Virginia Tech past East Carolina

Jerod Evans' 4 touchdowns carry Virginia Tech past East Carolina

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- Jerod Evans said that he needed to clean up some things during Virginia Tech's upcoming off week.

The Hokies' fan base may be wondering what exactly that is. His play so far has been sparkling.

Evans, the Hokies' starting quarterback, threw three touchdown passes and rushed for one to lift Virginia Tech over East Carolina 54-17 on Saturday.

The Hokies (3-1) scored on their final five possessions of the first half, including all four of their second-quarter possessions, to overwhelm East Carolina (2-2) and snap a two-game losing streak to the Pirates.

Evans completed 13 of 20 passes for a career-best 282 yards and rushed for a career-best 97 more. He has thrown at least three touchdown passes in three of the Hokies' first four games and is completing 67 percent of his passes.

"I missed a couple of things here and there," Evans said. "I have a lot of things that I can get better at for sure."

Evans entered the game with an ACC-best 10 touchdown passes this season. Of more importance to Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente, he has thrown just one interception.

"I think he's pretty good," Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said of Evans. "He's been judicious with the ball and he's going to the right place most of the time. He's been pretty efficient."

Following a punt return for a touchdown by Greg Stroman and a touchdown run by Marshawn Williams that gave the Hokies a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, Evans threw touchdown passes of 24 yards to Isaiah Ford, 13 yards to Travon McMillian and 55 yards to Cam Phillips. That final score gave the Hokies a 38-0 halftime lead.

ECU quarterback Philip Nelson had 362 yards passing and two touchdown tosses to Jimmy Williams. The Pirates had 443 yards of offense, but committed three special teams mistakes, fumbled once and were sacked six times.

"We studied the film well and they had a lot of keys when they were sliding the protection," said Ken Ekanem, who had two of the Hokies' six sacks. "We had a lot of indicators and we knew when someone was going to be left one-on-one. We look forward to one-on-one matchups and pride ourselves on winning those. We did a good job of that today."

THE TAKEAWAY

EAST CAROLINA: Coming off a 20-15 loss at South Carolina and playing its third consecutive game against a Power 5 opponent, the Pirates looked a step slow and out of sorts from the opening kick. They went three-and-out on five first-half possessions. The Pirates hope to regroup now that they have finished the non-conference portion of their schedule.

"That was clearly the best football team that we have played," ECU coach Scottie Montgomery said. "The most physical. The biggest. The fastest. The strongest. The smartest. I thought they competed well in their scheme. They played great emotional football. They leaned on their crowd. They played a complete football game -- as complete as it gets."

VIRGINIA TECH: The Hokies dominated on special teams, scoring three touchdowns as a result of those units. Greg Stroman scored on an 87-yard punt return, and Cam Phillips blocked a punt that led to an Evans touchdown pass to Travon McMillian. A sack of ECU punter Worth Gregory in the fourth quarter led to a 1-yard touchdown run by backup quarterback Brenden Motley.

UP NEXT

EAST CAROLINA: The Pirates open AAC play next Saturday with a home game against UCF. ECU blasted the Golden Knights 44-7 last season for their first win in Orlando since 2008.

VIRGINIA TECH: The Hokies are off next week before taking on North Carolina on Oct. 8 and will be looking to avenge last year's 30-27 overtime loss. The Hokies have won nine of the 12 meetings with the Tar Heels since joining the ACC.