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No. 4 Hurricanes Hold Off NC State, 45-31

No. 4 Hurricanes Hold Off NC State, 45-31

Oct. 23, 2004

Final Stats | Photo Gallery

By KEITH PARSONS
AP Sports Writer

RALEIGH, N.C. – The top-ranked defense in the country? Brock Berlinmade North Carolina State look downright average.

The Miami quarterback tied a school record with five touchdown passes andDevin Hester returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for another score, helpingthe No. 4 Hurricanes hold off the Wolfpack 45-31 Saturday night.

The Hurricanes (6-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) allowed 440 yards – 299in the first half alone – but remained the only team in the conference withouta loss. They took advantage of numerous miscues by the Wolfpack (4-3, 3-2), whowere trying to beat a top-10 team for the first time since 2001.

They went deep in their playbook, too. Kicker John Deraney recovered anonside kick in the first quarter, and later, tailback T.A. McLendon took adirect snap and ran for 13 yards out of the first of two unusual formationsused by the Wolfpack.

Also, taped messages of encouragement from former N.C. State stars TorryHolt and Philip Rivers played on the scoreboard.

It wasn’t enough. Miami used two dominating drives just after halftime totake a 38-17 lead and cruised from there, thanks mostly to Berlin. In Miami’sprevious game against Louisville, he helped the Hurricanes rally from a17-point deficit in the final 20 minutes in what coach Larry Coker called thebest performance of Berlin’s career.

He was even better in this one.

Two of his scoring tosses went to Roscoe Parrish, including a 27-yarderearly in the second quarter on the first play after N.C. State’s BobbyWashington fumbled on a kickoff return. Sinorice Moss, Quadtrine Hill and LanceLeggett caught the other touchdown passes, and Moss later dropped another surescore.

Berlin finished 15-for-30 for 265 yards and added a couple of clutchthird-down runs to keep drives going. Bernie Kosar, Steve Walsh and Ken Dorseyare the other players with five TD passes at Miami, which piled up 416 yards.N.C. State had been allowing only about 204 a game.

McLendon ran for 145 yards, but the Wolfpack still lost for the secondstraight time when he reaches triple figures. They had been 8-0 until therecent skid.

Jay Davis threw four touchdown passes for N.C. State, which couldn’tovercome Washington’s fumble and three other turnovers in the first half.

The first came as the Wolfpack were trailing 14-10 and driving. Onthird-and-6 from Miami’s 34, Davis lofted a pass into double coverage, andAnthony Reddick made a diving interception at the 13.

Then, after N.C. State had great field position following a blocked punt,McLendon burst through the secondary on his way to the goal line. He got justinside the 10 before he fumbled, and the ball rolled through the end zone for atouchback.

Davis also gave up the ball as he was sacked by Kareem Brown late in thefirst half, and Brown returned it all the way to the N.C. State 18. But afteran incompletion by Berlin, Jon Peattie hooked a 36-yard field goal, leaving theHurricanes with a 28-17 lead.