November 21, 1998
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - Jamie Barnette threw for 241 yards and capped a pivotal 20-play drive with a touchdown pass as North Carolina State clinched a bowl bid by beating Maryland 35-21 Saturday.
The victory assures the Wolfpack at least a fourth-place finish in the Atlantic Coast Conference and an automatic bowl trip.
With representatives of the Peach Bowl looking on, NC State (7-3, 5-2) fought back from a 7-6 halftime deficit with two diverse third-quarter touchdowns.
The Wolfpack took the lead for good with a 20-play, 80-yard drive that lasted nearly 10 minutes and ended with a 9-yard TD pass to Chris Coleman. Five plays later, Lloyd Harrison returned a blocked field goal 57 yards for a 21-7 lead.
Maryland (3-8, 1-7) twice got within seven points, but never threatened to get even.
Barnette completed 22 of 39 passes and NC State's Torry Holt had eight catches, giving him an ACC-record 79 receptions in a season. Maryland's Geroy Simon caught 77 in 1994.
Ray Robinson enhanced the ACC's top-ranked offense by rushing for 111 yards and Coleman had seven catches for 71 yards.
LaMont Jordan ran for 109 yards and a touchdown for the Terrapins, who lost six of their final seven games and finished in the ACC cellar. Jordan finished with 906 yards rushing, the ninth-best single-season total in school history.
Barnette was 4-for-4 on the Wolfpack's lengthy drive at the outset of the second half. Maryland then moved into NC State territory, but Harrison scored after Bobbie Cotten blocked a 57-yard field goal try.
Maryland closed to 21-14 on a touchdown run by Jordan before the Wolfpack countered with an 8-yard TD run by Harold Jackson.
Randall Jones threw a 56-yard pass to Matt Kalapinski and then scored on a short run for Maryland, but the Wolfpack iced the victory with their fourth second-half touchdown with 3:25 remaining.
Neither offense could put together a decent scoring drive in the first half until Maryland moved 67 yards in the second quarter following an interception by Eric Barton. Jason Hatala gave the Terrapins a 7-3 lead with a 21-yard run on an end-around.
NC State's Daniel Deskevich then kicked his second field goal with 13 seconds left in the half. The first one came after Harrison intercepted Ken Mastrole's pass on the opening play from scrimmage.
By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer