Posted: Saturday, September 25th 2010 at 3:49pm
N.C. State rolls Tech defense en route to win
By The Associated Press
North Carolina State quarterback Russell Wilson (16) breaks into the open field field during the fourth quarter of a college football game against Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Friday. / photo: Associated Press
ATLANTA -- Russell Wilson passed for a career-high 368 yards and three touchdowns and North Carolina State answered Georgia Tech's fourth-quarter rally to beat the Yellow Jackets 45-28 on Saturday and remain unbeaten.
Wilson completed 28 of 41 passes and ran for a touchdown as North Carolina State (4-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) continued its best start since winning its first nine games in 2002.
N.C. State gained 527 yards and scored its most points in the series with Georgia Tech.
Georgia Tech (2-2, 1-1) scored two quick fourth-quarter touchdowns to trail only 31-28 before Wilson answered with two touchdown drives.
Wilson threw a 23-yard scoring pass to T.J. Graham to cap a nine-play, 74-yard drive, and Mustafa Greene added a 5-yard scoring run with 4:08 remaining.
Wilson also threw touchdown passes to Steven Howard and Jarvis Williams, who returned a blocked punt for a touchdown.
Wilson had help from the Wolfpack's running game. Dean Haynes had 18 carries for 75 yards and Greene had 13 carries for 68 yards and a touchdown.
Jerrard Tarrant's 33-yard interception return cut N.C. State's lead to 31-28 early in the fourth quarter.
It was Wilson's first interception on his 136th pass of the season. Wilson, a junior, set the NCAA record with 379 attempts without an interception in a streak that overlapped his freshman and sophomore seasons.
Orwin Smith and Roddy Jones had touchdown runs for Georgia Tech. Joshua Nesbitt threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Melton in the fourth quarter as the highlight of his poor passing day.
Nesbitt had 19 carries for 95 yards rushing. He completed only 5 of 18 passes for 116 yards.
Nesbitt completed only 1 of 7 passes for 9 yards through three quarters before attempting to rally the Yellow Jackets.
With N.C. State leading 31-14, Nesbitt completed a 50-yard pass to Anthony Allen before his scoring pass to Melton capped a drive that covered 90 yards in three plays.
Tarrant's interception gave Georgia Tech hope, but the Yellow Jackets couldn't stop the Wolfpack.
Asa Watson blocked a punt, Williams picked up the loose ball and scored from the 1 to give N.C. State a 7-0 lead in the opening quarter.
The Wolfpack needed an official review to score their second touchdown. Leading 10-7 late in the first half, Wilson's pass to Howard at the back of the end zone was ruled an incomplete pass. The review with only 22 seconds remaining determined Howard had control of the ball with one foot in the end zone, giving N.C. State a 17-7 halftime lead.
Georgia Tech linebacker Brad Jefferson had the first two sacks of his career, including a hit on Wilson that ended the Wolfpack's first possession with a lost fumble. Logan Walls recovered the fumble for the Yellow Jackets, who couldn't take advantage of the break and punted after gaining 3 yards on three plays.
N.C. State also failed to take advantage of its first break. Linebacker Terrell Manning recovered a fumbled pitch from Nesbitt to Anthony Allen, but Josh Czajkowski missed a 31-yard field goal attempt.
Czajkowski made a 35-yarder early in the second quarter but missed another 31-yarder after Allen's second lost fumble.
Georgia Tech center Sean Bedford left the game in the first quarter with an injury to his lower right leg. He did not return.
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