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North Carolina State Remains Undefeated

October 25, 2002|From Times Wire Services

Freshman T.A. McLendon ran for a career-high 178 yards and two touchdowns Thursday night as No. 12 North Carolina State remained undefeated with a 38-6 victory over Clemson in an Atlantic Coast Conference game at Clemson, S.C.

Quarterback Philip Rivers also ran for a touchdown for the Wolfpack (9-0, 4-0 in the ACC). Clemson (4-4, 2-3) was held to a season-low point total.

Terrence Holt had an interception, recovered a fumble and returned a blocked punt 39 yards for a touchdown as North Carolina State achieved its best start in school history. The 1967 team started 8-0.

Despite being undefeated, North Carolina State was 11th in the bowl championship series rankings that were released Monday. North Carolina State's soft schedule has included games against Division I-AA East Tennessee and Massachusetts.

"All I know is, we're one of eight football teams that are undefeated at this juncture of the season," said Wolfpack Coach Chuck Amato, a linebacker on the 1967 team. "And that's not easy to do."

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Cecil Sapp ran for 164 yards and two touchdowns and Colorado State converted two turnovers into 14 points to defeat Brigham Young, 37-10, in a Mountain West game at Fort Collins, Colo.

The Rams (7-2, 3-0) became eligible for one of the conference's four bowl berths.

Brigham Young (3-5, 0-3), the defending conference champion, dropped its third consecutive game, during which the usually prolific Cougars have scored a total of only 22 points.

Colorado State outgained Brigham Young, 493-213, and the Rams had 342 rushing yards.

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Michigan State quarterback Jeff Smoker, the third-leading passer in school history, was suspended indefinitely for violating team rules and will not play against Wisconsin.

"The decision was made after consulting with Jeff and others," Coach Bobby Williams said in a statement. "It is for the welfare of both Jeff and this football program that this action is taken immediately."

Smoker declined comment. School officials declined to release the specific reasons for the suspension.

Sophomore Damon Dowdell will make his second career start.

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Tennessee quarterback Casey Clausen, who missed the 16th-ranked Volunteers' loss to Georgia because of a shoulder injury, was cleared by doctors to play against No. 19 Alabama.... Louisiana State safety Damien James apparently has quit the team, Coach Nick Saban said. James, a senior starter, has not been at practice this week. "I did not suspend him," Saban said. "I did not have words with him. Nothing." James could not be reached for comment.

Maryland Coach Ralph Friedgen said running back Bruce Perry, last season's Atlantic Coast Conference offensive player of the year, is expected to return against Duke. Perry suffered a torn groin muscle in the preseason.... Auburn kicker Damon Duval, whose clutch field goals won three consecutive games last season, has lost his job to Phillip Yost.

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