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East Carolina can't hold off N.C. State

September 21, 2008|From the Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Andre Brown jumped over one defender, then ran over another. Nothing was going to stop him from possibly saving North Carolina State's season -- especially not ranked rival East Carolina.

Brown's 10-yard touchdown run in overtime lifted N.C. State to a 30-24 upset of the No. 15 Pirates on Saturday.

Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes -- including a tying five-yarder to George Bryan with 1:12 left in regulation for the Wolfpack (2-2). The seven-point underdogs hung around all afternoon and never trailed by more than a touchdown in rallying for Tom O'Brien's most impressive win at N.C. State and its biggest upset since a victory at then-No. 9 Florida State in 2005.

"This is the first time we've played 60 minutes of tough, hard-nosed football," O'Brien said. "The plays we weren't making in the past, we made them today."

The Pirates didn't, and now their hopes of busting into the Bowl Championship Series are all but over. Patrick Pinkney completed 19 of 32 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown for East Carolina (3-1), but he was stripped by Shea McKeen on East Carolina's third play in overtime, giving N.C. State a shot at the upset.

"I just jacked up the tight end and took off," McKeen said. "The first thing I go for is the ball, especially if the quarterback doesn't know I'm coming, because he's not going to hold it too tight."

Brown then hurdled defender J.J. Milbrook during the remarkable 16-yard run that set up the winning score. On the next play, he powered through defensive lineman Jay Ross while extending the ball over the goal line to end the game.

Brown finished with 73 yards and a four-yard touchdown reception from Wilson, a redshirt freshman making his first home start. He went 21 for 31 for 210 yards and had a 20-yard touchdown toss to Jarvis Williams.

N.C. State entered with no touchdowns this season against teams from the bowl subdivision. The Wolfpack had scored a total of nine points in losses at South Carolina and Clemson.

"They listen to the trash about how they can't score and how they've been scoreless for so many halves [against FBS teams]," O'Brien said. "It bothers our young guys. Our veterans are more used to it and don't take it to heart. This win got the weight off their shoulders and showed them how it feels to win a big game."

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