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AROUND THE NATION | MEINEKE BOWL

North Carolina State Ends Strong

January 01, 2006|From the Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina State used stout defense and just enough offense to beat South Florida, 14-0, on Saturday, giving the Wolfpack a three-game winning streak to close the season.

"This might be one of the biggest wins, when it's all said and done, that this university could have had," Wolfpack Coach Chuck Amato said. "It could be the steppingstone for a lot of things."

Amato may be overstating it a bit, but the victory did pick up a program that began 2-4 and was in danger of one of the worst seasons in school history. The Wolfpack (7-5) turned it around with five wins in the final six games.

Brian Clark caught a nine-yard touchdown pass and Andre Brown scored on a one-yard run in the second quarter, then held on to hand South Florida (6-6) the first shutout in school history.

It was a disappointing end for the upstart Bulls, who were playing in their first bowl game in school history. They launched their program nine years ago, moved up to Division I-A in 2001 and capped their first season in the Big East with a bowl bid.

"I don't want South Florida to be 'We just did this. We just did that.' That's baloney," Coach Jim Leavitt said. "We want to win football games. I get disgusted when we lose, and we came here to win."

Although the Bulls managed 295 yards in total offense, they failed to get Andre Hall -- the Big East's leading rusher -- into the end zone. Hall finished with 118 yards rushing and two catches for 49 yards.

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