October 27, 2007

Cavaliers Bow Out to Bowens

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Virginia has been finding ways to win all season. For seven straight games the Cavaliers somehow pulled out one game after another with an NCAA-best five wins of six points or fewer.

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Sewell Out

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Jameel Sewell was knocked out at least temporarily and Peter Lalich was forced to take over at quarterback for Virginia. The Cavaliers trail by five and N.C. State has the ball with 6:42 remaining.

Bowens, Bowens, Gone

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Donald Bowens is having the game of his life after bringing in his second long touchdown of the game. Bowens went up and got a 30-yard bomb from Daniel Evans to wing the lead back to the Wolfpack with 7:37 remaining. Bowens, a sophomore, had the best game of his career last week with five catches for 93 yards against East Carolina. Well, he's nearly doubled that. Bowens now has 10 catches for 174 yards and two scores and is the reason the Wolfpack might pull off this upset.

All is Forgiven

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Ras-I Dowling atoned for his lone mistake of the game with a crucial interception. Dowling, who has tied a school record with five pass breakups, was the man who jumped offsides to negate a fumble recovery on a recent kickoff. But with N.C. State driving into Virginia territory, Dowling jumped the route and picked off Daniel Evans at the 15.

That Was the Kicker?

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Hey Donald Bowens, you just got ... JACKED UP! By the kicker! Chris Gould leveled Bowens with a crunching hit on the kickoff, that flattened Bowens and sent the ball flying out of bounds. The Wolfpack caught a break as that was their second return. They coughed up the first, but Virginia was offsides on the kick and the fumble was negated. And just as ESPNU showed a recap of all the Virginia close victories, the Wolfpack are on the move.

Cashing In

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Virginia finally took advantage of its excellent field position and took its first lead of the game with 13:12 remaining. But the drive was buoyed by a gutsy 4th-and-1 call by Al Groh. Instead of settling for a 33-yard field goal and slicing the Wolfpack lead in half, Groh decided to go for it. Out of the shotgun, Jameel Sewell faked a hand-off right and dashed to the opposite sideline for an 11-yard gain and a new set of downs. Mikell Simpson fought into the end zone from five yards out for the go-ahead touchdown on the very next play. Can the Cardiac Cavs hang on for their fourth consecutive fourth-quarter comeback victory?

Close Call

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Punt returner Darrell Blackman just nearly got burned on one of the most colossal brain-lock plays you'll see. Blackman ranged back to about the 2 to field a punt and then muffed it into the end zone. He barely broke the goal line to escape the safety but fumbled on his way down. Fortunately for the Wolfpack, they were able to recover on their own 2. Daniel Evans was able to move State out from the goal line with yet another completion to Donald Bowens. There's been an offensive stalemate for most of the quarter, but Virginia owns the field position battle. It might be only a matter of time before the Cavaliers break through.

Turf Toe

RALEIGH, N.C. -- So much for a home-field advantage. N.C. State halfback Jamelle Eugene was in the clear for a 39-yard touchdown run when he tripped himself and fell to the 2. With the lines stack on a third-and-short, Eugene crashed into the line, bounced it outside and picked up a downfield block for what seemed an easy touchdown. But the stumble proved costly as a false start and a couple incompletions later, the Wolfpack were forced to settle for a 23-yard field goal and a six-point lead.

Scoring Barrage Closes the Half

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Where did this come from? After both teams seemed to apply a gameplan of churning out long, pounding scoring marches N.C. State and Virginia put their offenses into hyper-drive to finish the half. The teams combined to score three touchdowns in the final 3:04 as both teams ran the 2-minute drill to perfection.

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Anything You Can Do

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Daniel Evans is starting to emerge as a solid quarterback option for N.C. State. The junior just guided the Wolfpack 75 yards in just 1:33 to emphatically respond to the Virginia touchdown drive. Evans looked poised and calm and had little trouble finding his receivers. The big play was another deep ball to Donald Bowens, setting up a 25-yard touchdown reception by Koyal George.

Can You Dig It

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Virginia simplified its offense and Jameel Sewell has the Cavaliers moving. The quarterback orchestrated an efficient 6-play, 62-yard scoring drive to get the Cavaliers back into it. After his second interception led to an N.C. State field goal, Sewell calmly dinked-and-dunked Virginia down the field, scoring the touchdown on a shovel pass to tailback Mikell Simpson from 12 yards out. With the touchdown, Virginia pulls to within three with under three minutes to go in the half.

Sewell Flustered

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Jameel Sewell has yet to find his rhythm under center for Virginia. The quarterback has fumbled two snaps and has now thrown two costly interceptions. The first led to North Carolina State's lone touchdown. The most recent one took points off the board for Virginia as they were well within field goal range when he threw the pick. If Sewell doesn't settle, then the Wolfpack can key in on the run game.

New Favorite

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Donald Bowens is listed fourth on the North Carolina State depth chart among receivers, but he's quickly becoming Daniel Evans' primary target. The Wolfpack just completed a 13 play scoring drive (resulting in a field goal) in which three of the four completions went to Bowens. Another two incompletions were in his direction. And oh yeah, Bowens snared the 40-yard bomb to open the scoring.

End of 1

RALEIGH, NC. -- It's been a grinding first 15 minutes. Virginia played the first quarter very conservatively -- refusing to look downfield after an early interception. N.C. State has taken its shots but Daniel Evans has been unable to feel comfortable in the pocket as the Virginia pass rush has put pressure on him throughout. But Evans has held his own and has the Wolfpack driving in Virginia territory.

Virginia on the Board

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Virginia responded to North Carolina State's touchdown with a pounding 14-play, 71-yard scoring drive that chewed up 5:47 off the clock. The drive didn't include receivers at all -- every play was either a run or a pass to a back or tight end. But the march stalled at the 6 and the Cavaliers were forced to settle for a 23-yard field goal. Wolfpack lead, 7-3.

Quick Strike

RALEIGH, N.C. -- There was a quick role reversal as N.C. State used a turnover to jump to a 7-0 lead over Virginia in just 2:30. Cavalier quarterback Jameel Sewell, who fumbled on the first play of the game, threw a terrible interception into triple coverage to set up the Wolfpack in Virginia territory. Three plays later Daniel Evans found Donald Bowens deep down the right sideline for a 40-yard touchdown.

Where Is Everybody

RALEIGH, N.C. -- For whatever the reason (possibly the rain?) the playing field is colorless. The logo in the middle and writing in the end zone -- normally red and white -- are completely devoid of color. As kickoff approaches the stands are nearly as bad. Fans are still trickling in, but there are empty seats everywhere. And this is Homecoming weekend in Raleigh.

Pack Set to Host Cavs

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September 08, 2007

Head held low for Tom O'Brien

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - With 10:46 left in the fourth quarter, Tom O'Brien couldn't look up from his play-calling sheet. For close to a minute - and what seemed like an eternity - O'Brien kept his eyes down, his face hidden underneath his white NC State cap.

The 30-10 score on the board that would eventually become 37-17 had much to do with O'Brien's dejected posture, but the mocking noise from the Boston College student section certainly didn’t help:

"Tom O'Brien. Tom O'Brien."

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Somebody Check Harrison Beck's Eyes

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - 316 yards on 25 of 47 passing isn't too bad. It starts to look worse when it comes with five interceptions.

Alumni Stadium is starting to empty - even as the sun sets, it's still pushing 90 degrees - after Harrison Beck's fifth interception, his second in the red zone. Jamie Silva snagged his second pick and appeared to stick a fork in Tom O'Brien's attempt at a happy homecoming.

The Wolfpack won last year's match-up with BC thanks on a last-minute touchdown. It'll take even more of a miracle to come back now.

Picture Perfect

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - Touchdown drives don't look much prettier. Matt Ryan was perfect through the air, Andre Callender racked up 61 yards, and L.V. Whitworth finished off the nine-play drive with a goal line score.

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Kicking Woes

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - One thing that hasn't changed under new Boston College head coach Jeff Jagodzinski is that the Eagles can't kick.

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Piling Up

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - Boston College may not beat NC State, but the Wolfpack sure seem willing to hand over the victory. If three interceptions in the first half weren't enough, Kevin Challenger forced a fumble on a botched punt, and three plays and 10-yards later Andre Callender was in the end zone to put BC up 23-10 (the extra point was missed - more on that shortly).

There seems to be a feeling in the stadium that the Eagles might be able to step on their former coach's throat right now. BC's defense forced a three-and-out, and appear to have worked out at least some of the first half holes. If Ryan ever gets on track (he's just 3 of 9 in the half), watch out.

Hot and Heavy

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - A trio of Massachusetts' finest escorted Tom O'Brien on and off the field at halftime, shielding him from the audible boos (thus far no projectiles) in the student section. But it's a trio of interceptions that have been the bigger issue today, with NC State's Harrison Beck throwing all three at key times.

With BC up 17-10, this game could go either way. Here are a few things to watch for as we get set to kick off.

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Three and Out

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - Harrison Beck has put up some big passing numbers in the first half. Unfortunately, one of the numbers - 3 - is in the interception category.

All three have come at significant times. The first two led to BC touchdowns - the second returned 14-yards by Jolonn Dunbar - and the latest one was picked off in the end zone by Taji Morris with the Wolfpack in the red zone.

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Matty Ice Cold

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan - nicknamed "Matty Ice" - looked Heisman-worthy last week with 408 yards and 5 touchdowns against Wake Forest. Today, he's looked downright pedestrian.

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So much for variety

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - Harrison Beck has thrown for 130 yards. Darrell Blackman has caught 128 of those. It's pretty obvious who Beck's favorite target has been, connecting with Blackman on six of his seven passes, three more than all of last week's game. The six catches put the senior into NC State's top 10 career receivers.

The lone non-Beck to Blackman connection: six yards to Jamelle Eugene.

Turnover City

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - We've got our third interception of the game, and BC has the lead again.

Jolonn Dunbar picked off his first pass of the year and scampered 14-yards untouched into the end zone to put BC up 14-10.

It's a good thing Dunbar got the score, because the BC offense has been stagnant with just 33 yards since its opening scoring drive. Beck has looked sharper than Ryan at times today, but his two interceptions have led to all 14 of BC's points.

O'Brien Strikes Back

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - Who said Tom O'Brien was conservative? It hasn't shown so far, with two long passes setting up a 2-yard scramble into the end zone by Harrison Beck.

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Hot in Boston

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - Boston in September is typically full of cool Cape Cod breezes, but not today. The temperature on the field turf in Alumni Stadium at game time topped out at 126.

But the Boston College team may be even hotter than the field.

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Welcome Back

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - Jamie Silva didn't wait long to get some revenge on his old ballcoach. The Boston College safety picked off Harrison Beck just across midfield and returned it down to the NC State 30. It was Silva's first interception, and the fifth for the Eagles in two games.

Coincidence?

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - As Tom O'Brien led his new team onto his old field, boos and cheers could be heard from a half-full Alumni Stadium (BC fans are notorious for being late). But if the reception from the fans was mixed, the BC marching band got a shot in, "accidentally" marching across O'Brien's path, forcing the coach to zig-zag through.

Coincidence? Maybe.

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Look who's back

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass - Players, not coaches, win games. But let’s be honest, the big story line in today’s Boston College vs. NC State match-up – and possibly a big factor in the outcome – is the man coaching his 62nd game in Alumni Stadium, but his first on the visiting sideline.

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