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    Shutout Leads to Fifth-Straight over UNC
     
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    Nov. 5, 2011

    RALEIGH, N.C. - For the fifth-straight year, NC State scored a rivalry win over North Carolina, this time behind a smothering defensive effort that limited the Tar Heels to 32 yards of total offense in the first half as the Wolfpack notched a 13-0 win Saturday at Carter-Finley Stadium.

    North Carolina (6-4, 2-4 ACC) wound up with just 165 yards on the game, threw three interceptions, and most importantly, zero points.

    NC State's current five-game winning streak ties the longest by the Wolfpack in the 101-year history of the series. Dick Sheridan led his teams to victories over North Carolina five-straight times from 1988-1992.

    The shutout marks NC State's first since the final contest of the 2005 season, a 14-0 win over South Florida in the Meineke Car Care Bowl, and the first under head coach Tom O'Brien. The shutout also represents the first at home since the opener in 2004, the first in ACC play since a 24-0 win over Virginia in 2001, and the first time since 1960 that NC State has shut out the Heels.

    Sophomore David Amerson grabbed his ninth interception of the season, breaking the school record set by Art Rooney in both 1937 and 1938. The pick also ties for second place in ACC history, and equals the total set by 2010 national leader Jayron Hosley of Virginia Tech.

    Terrell Manning led the defense with 11 tackles including one sack and three passes broken up. Audie Cole and Brian Slay each added a sack, while Earl Wolff and Darryl Cato-Bishop contributed one interception each.

    T.J. Graham hauled in the only touchdown on the afternoon, a leaping 12-yard catch beneath the goalposts from Mike Glennon in the first quarter. The touchdown marked Graham's only catch of the day, as Tobais Palmer took the lead in the receiving game, totaling five catches for 94 yards. Glennon finished the day 16-of-33 for 164 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

    James Washington piled up the yardage on the ground, going for 111 yards on 27 carries, including a key 24-yard run on a 3rd and 11 deep in Pack territory to swing the field position game back into the Wolfpack's favor. Tony Creecy added 10 carries for 26 yards.

    Wil Baumann played a crucial role in preserving the shutout, dropping four punts inside the Tar Heels' 10-yard line. Baumann finished the day with five of seven punts downed inside the 20 and a 37.9 average.

    North Carolina's opening drive of the second half creeped into Wolfpack territory, but Amerson snagged an interception in the end zone and brought it out to the 30 to return momentum to NC State's favor. Two players later Glennon stared down a corner blitz to find Palmer underneath, and he proceeded to break free across midfield before being brought down inside the UNC 20. Niklas Sade's 24-yard field goal pushed the Pack lead to 13-0 at 7:29 in the third quarter.

    After forcing another North Carolina punt, NC State took over inside its own 5. Washington's 24-yard run on 3rd and 11 popped the Pack out of the goalposts' shadow. Two plays later, Glennon fired an 8-yard pass to Jay Smith to pick up another third down, keeping field position in NC State's favor.

    North Carolina's best chance to mount a comeback was turned away at the 7:48 mark of the fourth quarter. Facing a fourth and 6, backup quarterback Braden Hanson's quick throw over the middle fell to the turf after Manning managed to get a hand on it.

    Cato-Bishop put a stamp on the game by intercepting Hanson's third down pass with 3:36 remaining, the third of the day for the Wolfpack defense. The Wolfpack rushing offense would salt away the game from there, wrapping up the 13-0 win.

    The first drive of the game came to a close when UNC's Charles Brown intercepted a Glennon pass intended for Smith up the sideline at the Tar Heel 39.

    The Heels were unable to turn the pick into any momentum, as Cole wrapped up UNC quarterback Bryn Renner for a 19-yard loss to derail North Carolina's ensuing drive.

    The Wolfpack landed the first blow on the next possession as Glennon's pass to Palmer on a corner route picked up 25, pushing the Pack deep into Tar Heel territory. Two plays later, Glennon found Graham on a seam in the back of the end zone to put NC State on top 7-0.

    Wolff put a stop to North Carolina's final drive of the first quarter by sliding over from the middle of the field to pick off a deep ball at the NC State 36. State's defense limited the Heels to -7 yards of total offense in the first quarter, and produced two sacks and an interception.

    With 10:12 to play in the first half, North Carolina had a 69-yard touchdown pass called back due to a holding penalty. One play later, NC State's offense would take over at the Tar Heel 40 after a 23-yard punt. The Pack would grind out 30 yards over the next four minutes to set up Sade's 26-yard field goal to make it 10-0.

    NC State's defensive effort held North Carolina to 32 yards of total offense in the first half, shutting out the Heels for a 10-0 Wolfpack advantage.

    The Pack controlled the field position battle early, with Baumann trapping North Carolina inside its 10-yard line on three occasions. The Heels' eight first-half drives averaged a starting position at the 20-yard line.

    NC State (5-4, 2-3 ACC) hopes to keep the momentum rolling next Saturday in Chestnut Hill, Mass., as the Wolfpack takes on Boston College at 12:30 p.m.


     

     

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