RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Nick Novak kicked a
43-yard field goal with 23 seconds left, lifting Maryland to a
key 26-24 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over North Carolina
Maryland (8-3, 5-2 ACC) scored the game's final 16 points to
solidify its chances of finishing second in the conference. The
Terrapins can clinch second place and a likely Gator Bowl berth
with a victory next week over Wake Forest. It would mark the
third straight major bowl for coach Ralph Friedgen's squad.
North Carolina State (7-5, 4-4) held a 24-10 lead early in the
fourth quarter before Maryland's Scott McBrien threw for a
touchdown and ran for a two-yard score with 2:29 left. Novak's
extra point failed on the second touchdown, giving the Wolfpack
a chance to run out the clock.
But tailback T.A. McLendon fumbled and Maryland recovered on
North Carolina State's 46-yard line with 1:50 remaining. The
Terrapins kept it on the ground with Bruce Perry running for one
first down before Novak redeemed himself with the winning kick.
McLendon rushed for 65 yards on 21 carries, staking North
Carolina State to a 14-0 lead midway through the second quarter
with a pair of one-yard TD runs.
North Carolina State's Philip Rivers lost his final home game
after completing 16-of-30 passes for 276 yards and one
touchdown. Jermaine Cotchery recorded his 14th career 100-yard
effort with six catches for 102 yards for the Wolfpack.
Josh Allen rushed for 144 yards on 23 carries for Maryland after
running for 257 yards in last Thursday's 27-17 victory over
Virginia. McBrien completed 17-of-37 passes for 243 yards and