Cavaliers Fall To NC State, 51-37
Nov. 1, 2003
By DAVID DROSCHAK
AP Sports Writer
RALEIGH, N.C. – North Carolina State’s Philip Rivers won the battle ofthe nation’s two most accurate quarterbacks, throwing for 410 yards and fourtouchdowns in a 51-37 victory over Virginia on Saturday.
T.A. McLendon also made a remarkable return from knee surgery last week,rambling 38 yards with 23 seconds left for the clinching score.
McLendon, who ran for 112 yards and caught 11 passes for 104 more, broke atackle on an inside running play for his key score after Rivers had completedthree passes to move the Wolfpack (7-3, 4-2 ACC) into scoring position.
Rivers, who was 29-of-34, became the fifth player in NCAA Division I-Ahistory to throw for more than 12,000 yards as N.C. State won its fourthstraight and improved to 6-0 at home.
Meanwhile, Matt Schaub was 41-of-55 for 393 yards and four TDs for theCavaliers (5-4, 3-3), but his pass was intercepted by Victor Stephens in thewaning moments and it was returned 26 yards for a score.
The matchup of Rivers and Schaub, each with 71 percent completion ratescoming in, was the highlight of what has otherwise been a boring season in theAtlantic Coast Conference.
There certainly wasn’t much defense played in this one with both QBs facinglittle opposition. The score was tied at 30 heading into the fourth quarterwith both QBs already over the 300-yard mark.
And each drove their teams 80 yards in the fourth quarter to keep the scoreeven with 6:29 left.
Rivers hit seldom-used Chance Moyer with a 3-yard score and Schaub reboundedwith his third TD pass to Wali Lundy on a fourth-and-1 play from the 7.
But Rivers got the ball back last and was able to pull out the win.
Rivers came in with 82 career TD passes but none in three games against theCavaliers. That slump ended as he threw two scoring passes in the first half.
The star senior also connected on his first 17 passes before throwing oneaway in the end zone two seconds before the break.
Still, the Wolfpack trailed 24-23 as Schaub was every bit as good as Rivers,throwing scoring passes of 20 and 11 yards to Wali Lundy in the first quarterand then one in the second to a diving Ryan Sawyer.
Virginia started in the hole after Kevin Bailey centered the ball overSchaub’s head on a third-down play 4? minutes in and Garland Heath fell on itfor a Wolfpack score.
However, Schaub came right back and drove the Cavaliers 80 yards on theirnext possession and then found Lundy on his first score 5? minutes later for a14-7 lead.
Three plays before the Sawyer score, Schaub threw a season-best 63-yardcompletion to the senior wide receiver to advance the ball to the Wolfpack 17.
Virginia could have gotten more points on the board but failed to takeadvantage of fumbles by McLendon and Chris Hawkins late in the second quarter.