RALEIGH, N.C. – Behind a defense that forced four turnovers and didn’t allow a touchdown, North Carolina State is bowl-eligible after beating visiting Miami 20-6 on Saturday night.
The victory for the Wolfpack (6-3, 3-2 ACC) is the first over the Hurricanes (6-3, 2/3 ACC) since 2008. The win was also the 78th for Dave Doeren as N.C. State’s head coach, making him the winningest coach in program history.
Devin Boykin sealed the win for N.C. State when he intercepted Miami’s Tyler Van Dyke with under 4 minutes to play. Aydan White, Brandon Cisse and Davin Vann also came up with turnovers for the Wolfpack. Offensively, MJ Morris completed 11-of-21 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown for N.C. State.
Miami’s attack was paced by Mark Fletcher Jr., who rushed 23 times for 115 yards.
When Miami entered Wolfpack territory on Saturday, it was plagued by missed opportunities and met by N.C. State’s stifling defense. The Hurricanes scored just once out of the three times it was in the red zone. Miami also missed a 45-yard field goal attempt.
In the fourth quarter, Miami turned the ball over downs at the 3, capping a fruitless 12-play drive that chewed more than 7 minutes off the clock. The Wolfpack responded with an eight-play drive that ended with Kendrick Raphael bouncing off a Miami defender on his way to scoring on a 31-yard touchdown run, which pushed the Wolfpack lead to two possessions. Miami’s next two drives ended in interceptions thrown by Van Dyke.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack defense was the difference and arguably put forth one of its best efforts of Doeren’s tenure. It’s the first time in Doeren’s 11 seasons that N.C. State held an ACC opponent to less than seven points. Linebacker Payton Willis again led the Wolfpack defense, racking up 16 tackles, two pass breakups and two quarterback hits.
Miami: The Hurricanes had some success moving the ball, but couldn’t break through N.C. State’s defense when it really mattered. Miami was 4-of-17 on third and fourth down conversion attempts and came away with just three points in three trips to the redzone. It was also the second straight game that Van Dyke tossed multiple interceptions and failed to score a touchdown.
Miami: The Hurricanes travel to rival No. 4 Florida State next Saturday.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack face Wake Forest next Saturday in Winston-Salem, N.C.
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