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Maybe He Should Be Called T.D.

September 22, 2002

It was supposed to be a showcase for two of the nation's top quarterbacks, but freshman tailback T.A. McLendon of North Carolina State grabbed the spotlight from teammate Phillip Rivers and Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury.

McLendon, an explosive runner who set several national records at Albemarle (N.C.) High, tied a North Carolina State record with five rushing touchdowns. His last one, from eight yards, gave the Wolfpack a 51-48 overtime victory and its first 5-0 start since 1991.

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound McLendon had 150 yards in 32 carries, with all five of his scoring runs coming from inside the 10. He tied the school's single-game touchdown record, set in 1972 by Stan Fritts against Wake Forest.

"We thought he was pretty good, but he played better than we probably thought he might," Texas Tech Coach Mike Leach said.

Big scoring games are nothing new for McLendon. While leading Albemarle to the North Carolina I-A title last season, he set a national high school record with 71 touchdowns.

As for the quarterbacks, Rivers passed for 301 yards and no touchdowns, and Kingsbury threw for 273 yards and three touchdowns and engineered four fourth-quarter touchdown drives that allowed Texas Tech to rally from a 38-10 deficit and tie the score, 45-45.

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Prep Sensation

Some of the records set by North Carolina State freshman tailback T.A. McLendon during his career at Albemarle (N.C.) High:

*--* NATIONAL Career Touchdowns 178 Career Rushing Touchdowns 170 Career Points 1,076 Season Touchdowns 71 STATE Career Yards Rushing 9,038 TDs in State Division Championship Game 7

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